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ZIP4 Promotes Muscle Wasting and Cachexia in Mice With Orthotopic Pancreatic Tumors by Stimulating RAB27B-Regulated Release of Extracellular Vesicles From Cancer Cells.

Yang, Jingxuan; Zhang, Zicheng; Zhang, Yuqing; Ni, Xiaoling; Zhang, Guohua; Cui, Xiaobo; Liu, Mingyang; Xu, Can; Zhang, Qiang; Zhu, Huiyun; Yan, Jie; Zhu, Vivian F; Luo, Yusheng; Hagan, John P; Li, Zhaoshen; Fang, Jing; Jatoi, Aminah; Fernandez-Zapico, Martin E; Zheng, Lei; Edil, Barish H; Bronze, Michael S; Houchen, Courtney W; Li, Yi-Ping; Li, Min.
Gastroenterology; 156(3): 722-734.e6, 2019 02.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30342032
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Cachexia, which includes muscle wasting, is a frequent complication of pancreatic cancer. There are no therapies that reduce cachexia and increase patient survival, so it is important to learn more about its mechanisms. The zinc transporter ZIP4 promotes growth and metastasis of pancreatic tumors. We investigated its effects on muscle catabolism via extracellular vesicle (EV)-mediated stimulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase 14 (p38 MAPK).


We studied nude mice with orthotopic tumors grown from human pancreatic cancer cell lines (AsPC-1 and BxPC-3); tumors were removed 8 days after cell injection and analyzed by histology. Mouse survival was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier curves. ZIP4 was knocked down in AsPC-1 and BxPC-3 cells with small hairpin RNAs; cells with empty vectors were used as controls. Muscle tissues were collected from mice and analyzed by histology and immunohistochemistry. Conditioned media from cell lines and 3-dimensional spheroid/organoid cultures of cancer cells were applied to C2C12 myotubes. The myotubes and the media were analyzed by immunoblots, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and immunofluorescence microscopy. EVs were isolated from conditioned media and analyzed by immunoblots.


Mice with orthotopic tumors grown from pancreatic cancer cells with knockdown of ZIP4 survived longer and lost less body weight and muscle mass than mice with control tumors. Conditioned media from cancer cells activated p38 MAPK, induced expression of F-box protein 32 and UBR2 in C2C12 myotubes, and also led to loss of myofibrillar protein myosin heavy chain and myotube thinning. Knockdown of ZIP4 in cancer cells reduced these effects. ZIP4 knockdown also reduced pancreatic cancer cell release of heat shock protein (HSP) 70 and HSP90, which are associated with EVs, by decreasing CREB-regulated expression of RAB27B.


ZIP4 promotes growth of orthotopic pancreatic tumors in mice and loss of muscle mass by activating CREB-regulated expression of RAB27B, required for release of EVs from pancreatic cancer cells. These EVs activate p38 MAPK and induce expression of F-box protein 32 and UBR2 in myotubes, leading to loss of myofibrillar myosin heavy chain and myotube thinning. Strategies to disrupt these pathways might be developed to reduce pancreatic cancer progression and accompanying cachexia.
Selo DaSilva