Background/Aim: In pancreatic cancer, where the microenvironment is extremely hypoxic, analyzing signal transduction under hypoxia is thought to be significantly important. By investigating microarray analysis of pancreatic cancer cells cultured under both normoxia and hypoxia, we found that the expression of leukocyte common antigen-related (LAR)-interacting protein (liprin)-α4 was extremely increased under hypoxia compared to under normoxia. Materials and Methods: In the present study, the biological significance of liprin-α4 in pancreatic cancer was investigated and whether liprin-α4 has potential as a therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer was estimated. Results: Suppression of liprin-α4 reduced proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. Inhibition of liprin-α4 also reduced invasiveness through the suppression of endothelial-mesenchymal transition. Stimulation by liprin-α4 was through phosphoinositide 3-kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways. Conclusion: Liprin-α4 plays a pivotal role in inducing malignant phenotypes such as increased proliferation and invasion in pancreatic cancer, and that liprin-α4 could be a new effective therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer.
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