Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly lethal malignancy that responds poorly to current therapeutic modalities. In an effort to develop novel therapeutic strategies, we found downregulation of miR-29 in pancreatic cancer cells, and overexpression of miR-29a sensitized chemotherapeutic resistant pancreatic cancer cells to gemcitabine, reduced cancer cell viability, and increased cytotoxicity. Furthermore, miR-29a blocked autophagy flux, as evidenced by an accumulation of autophagosomes and autophagy markers, LC3B and p62, and a decrease in autophagosome-lysosome fusion. In addition, miR-29a decreased the expression of autophagy proteins, TFEB and ATG9A, which are critical for lysosomal function and autophagosome trafficking respectively. Knockdown of TFEB or ATG9A inhibited autophagy similar to miR-29a overexpression. Finally, miR-29a reduced cancer cell migration, invasion, and anchorage independent growth. Collectively, our findings indicate that miR-29a functions as a potent autophagy inhibitor, sensitizes cancer cells to gemcitabine, and decreases their invasive potential. Our data provides evidence for the use of miR-29a as a novel therapeutic agent to target PDAC.
- Pancreatic cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas