Paradoxical role of hmgb1 in pancreatic cancer: Tumor suppressor or tumor promoter?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Pancreatic cancer has a dismal prognosis and there is an increasing and unmet need to identify better diagnostic and therapeutic targets in order to ameliorate the course of the disease. HMGB1, a nuclear DNA-binding protein that acts as a transcription factor, is currently in the limelight. HMGB1 exhibits a dual role in pancreatic cancer; when intracellular, it acts as an anti-tumor protein stabilizing the genome, whereas extracellular HMGB1 behaves as a protumor protein with cytokine, chemokine and growth factor functions. Although the exact mechanisms of HMGB1 in pancreatic cancer are still to be elucidated, the significance of this protein for processes, such as autophagy, immunogenic cell death, tumor growth, metastasis and resistance to chemotherapy, have become increasingly clear. In this review, we provide a systematic summary and review of the biological and clinical relevance of HMGB1 in pancreatic cancer.


External organisations
  • Uppsala University Hospital
  • Technical University of Munich
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Biomarker, HMGB1, Pancreatic cancer, Review, Tumor promoter, Tumor suppressor
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4381-4390
Number of pages10
JournalAnticancer research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 1
Publication categoryResearch