Our previous studies in zebrafish development have led to identification of the novel roles of the transient receptor potential melastatin-subfamily member 7 (TRPM7) ion channels in human pancreatic cancer. However, the biological significance of TRPM7 channels in pancreatic neoplasms was mostly unexplored. In this study, we determined the expression levels of TRPM7 in pancreatic tissue microarrays and correlated these measurements in pancreatic adenocarcinoma with the clinicopathological features. We also investigated the role of TRPM7 channels in pancreatic cancer cell invasion using the MatrigelTM-coated transwell assay. In normal pancreas, TRPM7 is expressed at a discernable level in the ductal cells and centroacinar cells and at a relatively high level in the islet endocrine cells. In chronic pancreatitis, pre-malignant tissues, and malignant neoplasms, there is variable expression of TRPM7. In the majority of pancreatic adenocarcinoma specimens examined, TRPM7 is expressed at either moderate-level or highlevel. Anti-TRPM7 immunoreactivity in pancreatic adenocarcinoma significantly correlates with the size and stages of tumors. In human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells in which TRPM7 is highly expressed, short hairpin RNA-mediated suppression of TRPM7 impairs cell invasion. The results demonstrate that TRPM7 channels are over-expressed in a proportion of the pre-malignant lesions and malignant tumors of the pancreas, and they are necessary for invasion by pancreatic cancer cells. We propose that TRPM7 channels play important roles in development and progression of pancreatic neoplasm, and they may be explored as clinical biomarkers and targets for its prevention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-514
Number of pages8
JournalBiology Open
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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