Pancreatic cancer is a malignant neoplasm that originates from acinar cells. Acinar cells get reprogrammed to become duct cells, resulting in pancreatic cancer. Pancreatitis is an acinar cell inflammation, leading to "impaired autophagy flux". Pancreatitis promotes acinar-to-ductal transdifferentiation. Expression of amylase gets eliminated during the progression of pancreatic cancer. Amylase is considered as an acinar cell marker; however, its function in cells is not known. Thus, we investigated whether amylase affects the acinar cell autophagy and whether it plays any role in development of pancreatitis. Here, we knocked out ATG12 in a pancreatic cancer cells and acinar cells using CRISPR/Cas9. Autophagy inhibition led to an increase in the expression of duct cell markers and a simultaneous decrease in that of acinar cell markers. It also caused an increase in cell viability and changes in mitochondrial morphology. Next, we knocked out amylase in acinar cells. Amylase deficiency decreased autophagy induced by pancreatitis. Our results suggest that amylase controls pancreatitis-induced autophagy. We found that eliminating amylase expression contributes to pancreatic cancer etiology by decreasing autophagy. Furthermore, our results indicate that amylase plays a role in selective pancreatitis-induced autophagy of pancreatic enzyme vesicles.
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