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Cholesterol and CDON Regulate Sonic Hedgehog Release from Pancreatic Cancer Cells
J Pancreat Cancer. 2021 Jun;7(1) :39-47
PMID: 34235374    PMCID: PMC8252898    URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34235374
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Background: Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) is a tightly regulated membrane-associated morphogen and a known driver of tumorigenesis in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). After processing, Shh remains at the plasma membrane of Shh producing cells, thereby limiting its distribution and signal strength. In PDAC, the release of Shh from tumor cells is necessary to promote a tumor-permissive microenvironment. Mechanisms regulating Shh sequestration and/or release from tumor cells to signal distant stromal cells are not well known. Previously, our laboratory demonstrated that the Drosophila transmembrane protein Boi, sequesters Hh at the membrane of Hh-producing cells. In response to dietary cholesterol or in the absence of boi, Hh is constitutively released to promote proliferation in distant cells. In this study, we investigated the conservation of this mechanism in mammals by exploring the role of the human boi homolog, CDON, in PDAC. Methods: Using PDAC cell-lines BxPC-3, Capan-2, and MIA PaCa-2, along with normal pancreatic epithelial cells (PDEC), we investigated Shh expression via Immunoblot and real-time, quantitative polymerase chain reaction in addition to Shh release via enzyme-linked immunoassay following cholesterol treatment and/or transfection with either RNA interference to reduce CDON expression or with human CDON to increase expression. Results: Consistent with our Boi model, CDON suppresses Shh release, which is alleviated in response to dietary cholesterol. However, over-expressing CDON suppresses cholesterol-mediated Shh release in some PDAC contexts, which may be relative to the mutational burden of the cells. Conclusion: Identifying mechanisms that either sequester or stimulate Shh release from the tumor cell membrane may provide new avenues to reduce signaling between the tumor and its surrounding environment, which may restrain tumor development.
Alexander, Jennifer I Martinez, Esteban Vargas, Alberto Zinshteyn, Daniel Sodi, Valerie Connolly, Denise C Hartman, Tiffiney R O'Reilly, Alana M eng J Pancreat Cancer. 2021 Jun 1;7(1):39-47. doi: 10.1089/pancan.2021.0002. eCollection 2021.