Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 40, Issue 7, pp 4139–4146 | Cite as

SDF-1α upregulation of MMP-2 is mediated by p38 MAPK signaling in pancreatic cancer cell lines

  • Feng Pan
  • Shijie Ma
  • Weike Cao
  • Haining Liu
  • Fengli Chen
  • Xiaofei ChenEmail author
  • Ruihua ShiEmail author


Pancreatic cancer is highly invasive and is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. CXC chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4) is a G protein-coupled receptor for CXC chemokine ligand 12/stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α), a member of a large family of small, structurally related, heparin-binding chemokine proteins. SDF-1α/CXCR4 plays an important role in tumor growth, invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis. SDF-1α and CXCR4 are upregulated in many tumors, including pancreatic cancer tissues, and preliminary data indicate that the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis plays an important role in tumor invasion. However, their precise role and the mechanism through which they function remain largely unknown. In this study, analysis of SDF-1α, CXCR4 and MMP-2 expression in pancreatic cancer and adjacent tissue samples from ten patients revealed that all three proteins are overexpressed in human pancreatic cancer. SDF-1α induced MMP-2 and MMP-9 upregulation in PANC-1 and SW-1990 cells, which was associated with increased pancreatic cancer cell proliferation and invasion. Furthermore, SDF-1α induced p38 phosphorylation and p38 inhibition reduced both the level of SDF-1α-stimulated MMP-2 expression and PANC-1 cell invasion. Overall, our results demonstrate that SDF-1α/CXCR4 upregulates MMP-2 expression and induces pancreatic cancer cell invasion in PANC-1 and SW-1990 cell lines by activating p38 MAPK.


Pancreatic cancer p38 MAPK Invasiveness Chemokines Expression 



This work was supported by grants from Science and Technology Support Program of Huaian (No. HAS2010023).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GastroenterologyHuai’an First People’s Hospital, Nanjing Medical UniversityHuai’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of OncologyHuai’an First People’s Hospital, Nanjing Medical UniversityHuai’anPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of GastroenterologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical UniversityJiangsuChina

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