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ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Pancreatic cancer has poor prognosis and high mortality. Currently, the therapy of pancreatic cancer remains a challenge. In this study, we compared the antitumor activity of the recombinant antitumor antiviral protein (RAAP), an improved interferon, with gemcitabine, a classic chemotherapy agent used for pancreatic cancer treatment. Methods: The proliferation of Bx-PC3 pancreatic cancer cells was evaluated by an MTT assay. Cell cycle arrest and apoptosis were evaluated by flow cytometry and annexin V-FITC/propidium iodide double staining, respectively. The expressions of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-9, caspase-3, caspase-8, and caspase-9 genes were evaluated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and the Western blot analysis. A xenograft pancreatic cancer model was established by inoculating Bx-PC3 cells into athymic nude mice. The antitumor activity of RAAP and gemcitabine was tested in the xenograft tumor model. Results: RAAP significantly inhibited proliferation, induced cell cycle arrest, and induced apoptosis in Bx-PC3 cells in vitro and delayed tumor growth in vivo. The antitumor activity of 20 ng/mL of RAAP was a little more effective than 10 μM of gemcitabine. The antitumor activity of RAAP was associated with its role in inducing caspase-3 and caspase-8 expression as well as downregulating MMP-2 expression. Conclusions: RAAP can effectively suppress human pancreatic cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo. The antitumor efficacy of RAAP is similar to gemcitabine.
Cancer Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals 07/2012; 27(7):426-33. · 1.44 Impact Factor