Cholesterol esterification inhibition and gemcitabine synergistically suppress pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma proliferation

Junjie Li, Xiaochao Qu, Jie Tian, Jian-Ting Zhang, Ji Xin Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Recent advances have recognized metabolic reprogramming as an underlying mechanism for cancer drug resistance. However, the role of cholesterol metabolism in drug resistance remain elusive. Herein, we report an increased accumulation of cholesteryl ester in gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells. A potent inhibitor of acyl-CoA cholesterol acyltransferase-1 (ACAT-1), avasimibe, effectively suppressed proliferation of gemcitabine-resistant PDAC cells. Combination of avasimibe and gemcitabine showed strong synergistic effect in suppressing PDAC cell viability in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Immunoblotting analysis suggests downregulation of Akt by avasimibe is likely to contribute to the synergism. Collectively, our study demonstrates a new combinational therapeutic strategy to overcome gemcitabine resistance for PDAC treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0193318
JournalPLoS One
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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