Improving poor outcomes in patients with pancreatic cancer requires a greater understanding of the biological mechanisms contributing to radioresistance. We, therefore, sought to identify genes involved in the radioresistance of pancreatic cancer cells. Two pancreatic cancer cell lines, CFPAC-1 and Capan-1, were repeatedly exposed to radiation, establishing two radioresistant cell lines. Gene expression profiling using cDNA microarrays was performed to identify genes responsible for radioresistance. The levels of expression of mRNAs encoded by selected genes and their correlation with radiation dose resulting in 50% survival rate were analyzed in pancreatic cancer cell lines. The radiation dose resulting in a 50% survival rate was significantly higher in irradiated (IR) compared to parental CFPAC-1 cells (8.31±0.85 Gy vs. 2.14±0.04 Gy, P<0.0001), but was lower in IR compared with parental Capan-1 cells (2.66±0.24 Gy vs. 2.25±0.03Gy, P=0.04). cDNA microarray analysis identified 4 genes, including S100 calcium binding protein A4 (S100A4), overexpressed and 23 genes underexpressed in the IR compared with the parental cell lines. The levels of S100A4 mRNA expression were correlated with radiation dose resulting in a 50% survival rate (Pearson's test, R2=0.81, P=0.0025). S100A4 mRNA expression may predict radioresistance of pancreatic cancer cells and may play an important role in the poor response of pancreatic cancer cells to radiation therapy.
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