Cyclooxygenase-2 expression is up-regulated in human pancreatic cancer
Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
A large body of evidence suggests that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is important in gastrointestinal cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine whether COX-2 was expressed in adenocarcinoma of the human pancreas. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry were used to assess the expression of COX-2 in pancreatic tissue. Levels of COX-2 mRNA were increased by >60-fold in pancreatic cancer compared to adjacent nontumorous tissue. COX-2 protein was present in 9 of 10 cases of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas but was undetectable in nontumorous pancreatic tissue. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that COX-2 was expressed in malignant epithelial cells. In cultured human pancreatic cancer cells, levels of COX-2 mRNA and protein were induced by treatment with tumor-promoting phorbol esters. Taken together, these results suggest that COX-2 may be a target for the prevention or treatment of pancreatic cancer.