A translational effort to identify prognostic and predictive biomarkers in pancreatic cancer among RBM3-regulated genes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Background Pancreatic cancer has a dismal prognosis and clinical protocols are still lacking predictive biomarkers. RNA-binding motif protein 3 (RBM3) has emerged as a promising biomarker in several solid cancers, including pancreatic cancer.. High RBM3 expression in human tumors has been associated with good response to chemotherapy, as well as to confer increased chemosensitivity in vitro. The aim of this study was to identify RBM3-regulated genes in pancreatic cells in vitro, and further interrogate their potential utility as prognostic and predictive biomarkers in a translational setting. Methods Next generation RNA-sequencing was applied to compare gene expression between MIAPaCa-2 cells with siRNA-downregulated RBM3 and control cells. Single genes with the strongest association to RBM3 were further selected by gene set enrichment analysis, and their prognostic value in pancreatic cancer was examined in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). The most promising biomarker candidates with well-validated antibodies were then analyzed by immunohistochemistry in tissue microarrays with tumors from a consecutive, retrospective cohort of 175 patients with periampullary and pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Results MIAPaCa-2 cells with downregulated RBM3 displayed 21 differentially expressed genes (p<0.01). One of the top downregulated genes was PDS cohesion associated factor A (PDS5A) encoding a protein involved in sister chromatid cohesion. PDS5A protein expression was reduced in siRBM3-treated MIAPaCa-2 cells compared to control cells. High PDS5A mRNA expression was significantly associated with a reduced survival in pancreatic cancer in the TCGA (n=176, p=0.026). High PDS5A protein expression in the separate cohort was significantly associated with a poor prognosis but predictive of improved response to adjuvant chemotherapy in KRAS-mutated, but not wild-type, pancreatobiliary-type tumors (p for interaction=0.043). Conclusions Here, we provide the first report of the expression of PDS5A in pancreatic and periampullary cancer, suggesting its potential utility as a prognostic and predictive biomarker. Further studies to unravel the underlying mechanisms are encouraged.  


External organisations
  • Technical University of Denmark
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Stockholm University
  • OncoMark Ltd
  • University College Dublin
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1
Publication categoryResearch
EventASCO GI Annual meeting - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 2018 Jan 192018 Jan 21


ConferenceASCO GI Annual meeting
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco