Research Papers:

MutY-Homolog (MYH) inhibition reduces pancreatic cancer cell growth and increases chemosensitivity

George Sharbeen, Janet Youkhana, Amanda Mawson, Joshua McCarroll, Andrea [email protected] Nunez, Andrew Biankin, Amber Johns, David Goldstein and Phoebe Phillips _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:9216-9229. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13985

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George Sharbeen1, Janet Youkhana1, Amanda Mawson1, Joshua McCarroll2,3, Andrea Nunez1, Andrew Biankin4,5, Amber Johns5, David Goldstein1, Phoebe Phillips1,3

1Pancreatic Cancer Translational Research Group, Lowy Cancer Research Centre, Prince of Wales Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

2Children’s Cancer Institute, Lowy Cancer Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

3Australian Centre for NanoMedicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

4Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow, Bearsden, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

5The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Cancer Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia

Correspondence to:

Phoebe Phillips, email: [email protected]

Keywords: pancreatic cancer, mutY-homolog (MYH), chemoresistance, oxidative stress, DNA repair

Received: February 08, 2016     Accepted: December 12, 2016     Published: December 16, 2016


Patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PC) have a poor prognosis due to metastases and chemoresistance. PC is characterized by extensive fibrosis, which creates a hypoxic microenvironment, and leads to increased chemoresistance and intracellular oxidative stress. Thus, proteins that protect against oxidative stress are potential therapeutic targets for PC. A key protein that maintains genomic integrity against oxidative damage is MutY-Homolog (MYH). No prior studies have investigated the function of MYH in PC cells. Using siRNA, we showed that knockdown of MYH in PC cells 1) reduced PC cell proliferation and increased apoptosis; 2) further decreased PC cell growth in the presence of oxidative stress and chemotherapy agents (gemcitabine, paclitaxel and vincristine); 3) reduced PC cell metastatic potential; and 4) decreased PC tumor growth in a subcutaneous mouse model in vivo. The results from this study suggest MYH may be a novel therapeutic target for PC that could potentially improve patient outcome by reducing PC cell survival, increasing the efficacy of existing drugs and reducing metastatic spread.

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