Somatostatin receptor subtype 2 sensitizes human pancreatic cancer cells to death ligand-induced apoptosis

Julie Guillermet, Nathalie Saint-Laurent, Philippe Rochaix, Olivier Cuvillier, Thierry Levade, Andrew V. Schally, Lucien Pradayrol, Louis Buscail, Christiane Susini, Corinne Bousquet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (sst2) gene expression is lost in 90% of human pancreatic adenocarcinomas. We previously demonstrated that stable sst2 transfection of human pancreatic BxPC-3 cells, which do not endogenously express sst2, inhibits cell proliferation, tumorigenicity, and metastasis. These sst2 effects occur as a consequence of an autocrine sst2-dependent loop, whereby sst2 induces expression of its own ligand, somatostatin. Here we investigated whether sst2 induces apoptosis in sst2-transfected BxPC-3 cells. Expression of sst2 induced a 4.4- ± 0.05-fold stimulation of apoptosis in BxPC-3 through the activation of tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1. sst2 also sensitized these cells to apoptosis induced by tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), enhancing it 4.1- ± 1.5-fold. Apoptosis in BxPC-3 cells mediated by TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and CD95L was likewise increased 2.3- ± 0.5-fold and 7.4- ± 2.5-fold, respectively. sst2-dependent activation and cell sensitization to death ligand-induced apoptosis involved activation of the executioner caspases, key factors in both death ligand- or mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. sst2 affected both pathways: first, by up-regulating expression of TRAIL and TNFα receptors, DR4 and TNFRI, respectively, and sensitizing the cells to death ligand-induced initiator capase-8 activation, and, second, by down-regulating expression of the antiapoptotic mitochondrial Bcl-2 protein. These results are of interest for the clinical management of chemoresistant pancreatic adenocarcinoma by using a combined gene therapy based on the cotransfer of genes for both the sst2 and a nontoxic death ligand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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