BCL2 expression correlates with metastatic potential in pancreatic cancer cell lines

Richard J. Bold, Subbu Virudachalam, David J. McConkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Programmed cell death (termed apoptosis) regulates normal tissue homeostasis. Loss of local paracrine signals and intercellular adhesion molecules are potent inducers of apoptosis and thereby eliminate normal cells that may have escaped beyond the confines of the local organ environment. Dysregulation in the expression of the BCL2 gene family, the prototypic regulators of apoptosis, is a common occurrence in cancer and imparts resistance to standard triggers of apoptosis. Therefore, the authors sought to examine whether abnormal BCL2 gene family expression correlated with resistance to apoptosis and increased metastatic potential in pancreatic carcinoma. METHODS. The authors examined BCL2 expression and apoptotic sensitivity in three panels of human pancreatic cancer cell lines that possess varying metastatic potential. Stable transfectants were generated that overexpress BCL2. These transfectants were then analyzed for differences in metastasis formation in athymic mice. RESULTS. Among the isogenic panels of pancreatic cancer cell lines, BCL2 expression levels correlated with metastatic potential. Highly metastatic variants of each family of cell lines were more resistant to induction of apoptosis. Finally, using the BCL2 transfectant in a xenograft model, elevated BCL2 expression led to a higher incidence of metastases. CONCLUSIONS. The authors conclude that increased BCL2 expression correlates with apoptotic resistance and metastatic potential; dysregulation of BCL2 expression may be involved in the metastatic progression of pancreatic carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1122-1129
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • BCL2
  • Metastasis
  • Pancreas
  • Pancreatic carcinoma
  • bcl-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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