Butyrate inhibits pancreatic cancer invasion

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35 Scopus citations


Pancreatic cancer is the most deadly gastrointestinal malignancy because of its propensity for local invasion and early metastasis. Integrin chains, in particular β4, can promote invasion in other cancers. The effect of sodium butyrate (NaBT), which induces differentiation in transformed cells, on integrin expression is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine patterns of integrin expression in pancreatic cancer cells and investigate the effect of NaBT on integrin expression and invasion. Integrin expression was assessed in the less invasive MIA-PaCa-2 and PANC-1 and more invasive L3.6, AsPC-1, and SUIT-2 human pancreatic cancer cell lines by ribonuclease (RNase) protection assay. Western blotting and immunofluorescent staining for β4 expression was determined after NaBT treatment. Matrigel invasion chambers were used to assess pancreatic cancer cell invasion. β4 and β7 integrin expression was highest in L3.6, AsPC-1, and SUIT-2 cells. NaBT reduced the expression of β4 integrin in AsPC-1 cells including less cell surface β4. Invasion of AsPC-1 cells was also reduced by NaBT. Expression of β4 is higher in more aggressive pancreatic cancer cells; NaBT inhibits β4 expression and invasion. NaBT may represent a novel strategy to inhibit pancreatic cancer invasion and improve the prognosis of this deadly disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-870
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by grants RO1 DK48498, PO1 DK35608, and T32 DK07639 from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Farrow is the recipient of a Jeane B. Kempner award.


  • Integrins
  • Invasion
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Sodium butyrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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