Cholesterol is a non-essential metabolite that exerts both structural and signaling functions. However, cholesterol biosynthesis is elevated, and actively supports, pancreatic carcinogenesis. Our previous work showed that statins block the reprogramming of mutant KRAS-expressing acinar cells, that spontaneously undergo a metaplastic event termed acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM) to initiate carcinogenesis. Here we tested the impact of cholesterol supplementation on isolated primary wild-type acinar cells and observed enhanced ductal transdifferentiation, associated with generation of the second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and the induction of downstream protein kinase A (PKA). Inhibition of PKA suppresses cholesterol-induced ADM ex vivo. Live imaging using fluorescent biosensors dissected the temporal and spatial dynamics of PKA activation upon cholesterol addition and showed uneven activation both in the cytosol and on the outer mitochondrial membrane of primary pancreatic acinar cells. The ability of cholesterol to activate cAMP signaling is lost in tumor cells. Qualitative examination of multiple normal and transformed cell lines supports the notion that the cAMP/PKA axis plays different roles during multi-step pancreatic carcinogenesis. Collectively, our findings describe the impact of cholesterol availability on the cyclic AMP/PKA axis and plasticity of pancreatic acinar cells.

Cholesterol Activates Cyclic AMP Signaling in Metaplastic Acinar Cells

Grisan, Francesca;Spacci, Martina;Paoli, Carlotta;Fantuz, Marco;Carrer, Alessandro
Supervision
2021

Abstract

Cholesterol is a non-essential metabolite that exerts both structural and signaling functions. However, cholesterol biosynthesis is elevated, and actively supports, pancreatic carcinogenesis. Our previous work showed that statins block the reprogramming of mutant KRAS-expressing acinar cells, that spontaneously undergo a metaplastic event termed acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM) to initiate carcinogenesis. Here we tested the impact of cholesterol supplementation on isolated primary wild-type acinar cells and observed enhanced ductal transdifferentiation, associated with generation of the second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and the induction of downstream protein kinase A (PKA). Inhibition of PKA suppresses cholesterol-induced ADM ex vivo. Live imaging using fluorescent biosensors dissected the temporal and spatial dynamics of PKA activation upon cholesterol addition and showed uneven activation both in the cytosol and on the outer mitochondrial membrane of primary pancreatic acinar cells. The ability of cholesterol to activate cAMP signaling is lost in tumor cells. Qualitative examination of multiple normal and transformed cell lines supports the notion that the cAMP/PKA axis plays different roles during multi-step pancreatic carcinogenesis. Collectively, our findings describe the impact of cholesterol availability on the cyclic AMP/PKA axis and plasticity of pancreatic acinar cells.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3455375
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