Molecular medicine reports

Simultaneous silencing of XIAP and survivin causes partial mesenchymal-epithelial transition of human pancreatic cancer cells via the PTEN/PI3K/Akt pathway.

PMID 25707849


Pancreatic cancer has one of the highest mortality rates among malignant tumors and is characterized by rapid invasion, early metastasis and chemoresistance. X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) and survivin are two of the most important members of the IAP family. Previous studies have shown that XIAP and survivin were overexpressed in pancreatic cancer and were closely associated with cell proliferation and chemoresistance to gemcitabine. In the present study, stable inhibition of XIAP and survivin in Panc-1 cells was performed using lentivirus-carried short hairpin RNAs. The expression of XIAP, survivin, E-cadherin, Slug, phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and phosphorylated Akt was then measured. In addition, cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and migration were assessed. The results showed that stable inhibition of XIAP and survivin expression in Panc-1 cells significantly reduced cell proliferation, increased apoptosis and partially reversed the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Furthermore, the results of the present study demonstrated that the partial reversal of the EMT was accompanied by inhibited cell invasion and migration as well as increased chemosensitivity to gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer cells; this was indicated to be mediated via the PTEN/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway. In conclusion, these results suggested that simultaneous inhibition of XIAP and survivin may be a promising strategy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.