Purpose: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) cells are known to produce excessive amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS), particularly superoxide, which may contribute to the aggressive and refractory nature of this disease. Extracellular superoxide dismutase (EcSOD) is an antioxidant enzyme that catalyzes the dismutation of superoxide in the extracellular environment. The current work tests the hypothesis that EcSOD modulates PDA growth and invasion by modifying the redox balance in PDA. Experimental Design: We evaluated the prognostic significance of EcSOD in a human tissue microarray of patients with PDA. EcSOD overexpression was performed in PDA cell lines and animal models of disease. The impact of EcSOD on PDA cell lines was evaluated with Matrigel invasion in combination with a superoxide-specific SOD mimic and a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor to determine the mechanism of action of EcSOD in PDA. Results: Loss of EcSOD expression is a common event in PDA, which correlated with worse disease biology. Overexpression of EcSOD in PDA cell lines resulted in decreased invasiveness that appeared to be related to reactions of superoxide with nitric oxide. Pancreatic cancer xenografts overexpressing EcSOD also demonstrated slower growth and peritoneal metastasis. Over-expression of EcSOD or treatment with a superoxide-specific SOD mimic caused significant decreases in PDA cell invasive capacity. Conclusions: These results support the hypothesis that loss of EcSOD leads to increased reactions of superoxide with nitric oxide which contributes to the invasive phenotype. These results allow for the speculation that superoxide dismutase mimetics might inhibit PDA progression in human clinical disease.
- Received August 5, 2014.
- Revision received December 22, 2014.
- Accepted January 18, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.