Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, suggesting
that designing novel therapeutic strategy is required to improve the survival outcome of patients diagnosed with PC.
Recently, microRNAs (miRNA) have been found to be involved in the regulation of multiple aspects of tumor development
and progression including PC. In this study, we investigate whether miR-34a plays a critical role in the control of
cell growth and apoptosis in PC cells. We found that Re-expression (forced expression) of miR-34a inhibits cell growth
and induces apoptosis, with concomitant down-regulation of Notch-1 signaling pathway, one of the target of miR-34a.
Moreover, treatment of PC cells with a natural compound genistein led to the up-regulation of miR-34a, resulting in the
down-regulation of Notch-1, which was correlated with inhibition of cell growth, and induction of apoptosis. Our findings
suggest that genistein could function as a non-toxic activator of a miRNA that can suppress the proliferation of PC cells.
Keywords: Apoptosis, cell growth, genistein, miR-34a, Notch-1, pancreatic cancer
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