Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 138, Issue 9, pp 1463–1474 | Cite as

DJ-1, a novel biomarker and a selected target gene for overcoming chemoresistance in pancreatic cancer

  • Ying Chen
  • Muxing Kang
  • Wenjie Lu
  • Qingqu Guo
  • Bo Zhang
  • Qiuping Xie
  • Yulian Wu
Original Paper



Aberrant expression of DJ-1 has been proven to be associated with tumorigenesis in many carcinomas. However, its role in pancreatic cancer is unknown. The aims of this study were to investigate whether the serum DJ-1 might be a potential biomarker for pancreatic cancer and to determine the biologic function of DJ-1 expression in gemcitabine-induced chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer.


The serum level of DJ-1 was higher in 128 pancreatic cancer patients compared with 62 healthy controls by ELISA. To determine the effect of DJ-1 on pancreatic tumor chemoresistance, a siRNA-targeting DJ-1 was synthesized and a stably transfected cell line with DJ-1 over-expression was constructed. The mechanism of tumor chemoresistance was assessed by multiple methods, such as MTT assay, real-time PCR, Western blot and flow cytometry.


The serum level of DJ-1 was higher in pancreatic cancer patients than healthy controls, and it has the relationship with tumor differentiation in pancreatic cancer. Down-regulation of DJ-1 enhanced gemcitabine-induced apoptosis in three pancreatic cancer cell lines. On the contrary, over-expression of DJ-1 desensitized the MIA PaCa-2 to the induction of apoptosis by gemcitabine.


Our results suggest that the serum level of DJ-1 may be a potential biomarker for pancreatic cancer, and that DJ-1 plays critical roles in the pancreatic tumor chemoresistance, supporting the development of chemotherapeutic approaches targeting this oncogene.


DJ-1 Gemcitabine Chemoresistance Pancreatic cancer 



This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (nos. 81172158, 81001094, 81071960, 30901445 and 81100549).

Conflict of interest

We confirm that there is no competing financial or other interest in this paper, as described in the instruction for authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Chen
    • 1
  • Muxing Kang
    • 1
  • Wenjie Lu
    • 1
  • Qingqu Guo
    • 1
  • Bo Zhang
    • 1
  • Qiuping Xie
    • 1
  • Yulian Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Second Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Cancer Institute of Zhejiang UniversityZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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