MUC1c regulates cell survival in pancreatic cancer by preventing lysosomal permeabilization

Sulagna Banerjee, Nameeta Mujumdar, Vikas Dudeja, Tiffany Mackenzie, Tara K. Krosch, Veena Sangwan, Selwyn M. Vickers, Ashok K. Saluja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: MUC1 is a type I transmembrane glycoprotein aberrantly overexpressed in various cancer cells including pancreatic cancer. The cytosolic end of MUC1 (MUC1-c) is extensively involved in a number of signaling pathways. MUC1-c is reported to inhibit apoptosis in a number of cancer cells, but the mechanism of inhibition is unclear. Method: Expression of MUC1-c was studied in the pancreatic cancer cell line MIAPaCa-2 at the RNA level by using qRTPCR and at the protein level by Western blotting. MUC1-c expression was inhibited either by siRNA or by a specific peptide inhibitor, GO-201. Effect of MUC1-c inhibition on viability and proliferation and lysosomal permeabilization were studied. Association of MUC1-c with HSP70 was detected by co-immunoprecipitation of MUC1-c and HSP70. Localization of MUC1-c in cellular organelles was monitored by immunofluorescence and with immuno- blotting by MUC1-c antibody after subcellular fractionation. Results: Inhibition of MUC1-c by an inhibitor (GO-201) or siRNA resulted in reduced viability and reduced proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells. Furthermore, GO-201, the peptide inhibitor of MUC1-c, was effective in reducing tumor burden in pancreatic cancer mouse model. MUC1-c was also found to be associated with HSP70 in the cytosol, although a significant amount of MUC1 was also seen to be present in the lysosomes. Inhibition of MUC1 expression or activity showed an enhanced Cathepsin B activity in the cytosol, indicating lysosomal permeabilization. Therefore this study indicates that MUC1-c interacted with HSP70 in the cytosol of pancreatic cancer cells and localized to the lysosomes in these cells. Further, our results showed that MUC1-c protects pancreatic cancer cells from cell death by stabilizing lysosomes and preventing release of Cathepsin B in the cytosol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere43020
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 13 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'MUC1c regulates cell survival in pancreatic cancer by preventing lysosomal permeabilization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this