Research Papers:

Upregulation of C1-inhibitor in pancreatic cancer

Kurt Osther, Karolina Förnvik, Emma Liljedahl, Leif G. Salford and Henrietta Nittby Redebrandt _

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Oncotarget. 2019; 10:5703-5712. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27191

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Kurt Osther1, Karolina Förnvik1,2, Emma Liljedahl1,3, Leif G. Salford1,3 and Henrietta Nittby Redebrandt1,3

1 The Rausing Laboratory, Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

2 Department of Clinical Chemistry, Skåne University Hospital, Scania, Sweden

3 Department of Neurosurgery, Skåne University Hospital, Scania, Sweden

Correspondence to:

Henrietta Nittby Redebrandt,email: henrietta.nittby@med.lu.se

Keywords: complement system; C1-inhibitor; pancreatic cancer; immunotherapy; cancer

Abbreviations: C1-INH: C1-inhibitor

Received: June 29, 2019     Accepted: August 16, 2019     Published: October 01, 2019



The complement system has recently sparked more interest in cancer research. The classical pathway is initiated by activation of the C1 complex, which irreversibly can be bound to and inhibited by C1-INH. We have previously shown that C1-INH is upregulated in human glioblastoma (astrocytoma grade IV) on both gene and protein level. We here examine whether the complement system seems to play a role also in pancreatic cancer.

Technique and results

We performed an expression analysis of complement associated genes in 36 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma tumors and matching normal pancreatic tissue samples from pancreatic cancer patients (data from the publicly available database GSE15471). C1-INH was significantly upregulated in the pancreatic cancer tissue. None of the downstream components of the cascade were significantly upregulated in the cancer samples as compared to the control samples, which is the same pattern as we found in glioblastoma. GO analysis showed that membrane attack complex came up as the second most significantly associated cellular component. Analyzing gene expression of C1-INH in the pancreatic cancer cell lines from primary tumors versus metastatic tumor revealed no difference for the two mRNA transcripts (GSE59357).


Analysis of gene expression of complement related genes shows an upregulation of C1-INH and a downregulation of downstream components. This could suggest that C1-INH plays a role also in pancreatic cancer.

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