Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 3171–3177 | Cite as

Role of pancreatic stellate cells and periostin in pancreatic cancer progression

  • Yang Liu
  • Lianfang Du


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an aggressive and one of the five most lethal malignancies characterized by prominent desmoplastic reaction. Accumulating evidences indicate that tumor desmoplasia plays a pivotal role in PDAC progression, and it has been largely ignored until recent times. It has now been unequivocally shown that pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) are the principal effector cells responsible for stroma production. Periostin, also known as osteoblast-specific factor 2, is a secretory protein and originally identified as an osteoblast-specific factor that expressed in periosteum. Periostin is exclusively produced by activated PSCs, and periostin overexpression presents in various malignant tumors and closely relates with disease progression. In addition, periostin has been suggested to stimulate pancreatic cancer cells proliferation and enhance their resistance to serum starvation and hypoxia. Therefore, the interplay between cancer cells and stromal cells plays a vital role in PDAC development. However, the function of periostin in pancreatic cancer development is controversial. This review summarizes existing knowledge about the role of PSCs in cancer stroma production, the interaction between PSCs and pancreatic cancer cells, tumor angiogenesis, and hypoxic microenvironment, with particular focus on the expression and function as well as signaling pathways of periostin in PDAC cells and PSCs.


Periostin Pancreatic stellate cells Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma Stroma Extracellular matrix 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81271596).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ultrasound, Shanghai First People’s Hospital, School of MedicineShanghai Jiaotong UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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