Downregulation of TRAIL-Receptor 1 Increases TGFβ Type II Receptor Expression and TGFβ Signalling Via MicroRNA-370-3p in Pancreatic Cancer Cells
The accumulation of perturbations in signalling pathways resulting in an apoptosis-insensitive phenotype is largely responsible for the desperate prognosis of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Accumulating evidence suggests that the death receptors TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2 play important roles in PDAC biology by acting as either tumour suppressors through induction of cell death or tumour promoters through induction of pro-inflammatory signalling, invasion and metastasis. TRAIL-R2 can also associate with nuclear proteins and alter the maturation of micro RNAs (miRs). By genome-wide miR profiling and quantitative PCR analyses we now demonstrate that knockdown of TRAIL-R1 in PDAC cells decreased the level of mature miR-370 and led to an increased abundance of the type II receptor for transforming growth factor β (TGFβ). Transfection of cells with an artificial miR-370-3p decreased the levels of TGFβ-RII. We further show that transient expression of the miR-370 mimic decreased TGFβ1-induced expression of SERPINE1 encoding plasminogen activator-inhibitor 1 and partially relieved TGFβ1-induced growth inhibition. Moreover, stable TRAIL-R1 knockdown in Colo357 cells increased TGFβ1-induced SERPINE1 expression and this effect was partially reversed by transient expression of the miR-370 mimic. Finally, after transient knockdown of TRAIL-R1 in Panc1 cells there was a tendency towards enhanced activation of Smad2 and JNK1/2 signalling by exogenous TGFβ1. Taken together, our study reveals that TRAIL-R1 through regulation of miR-370 can decrease the sensitivity of PDAC cells to TGFβ and therefore represents a potential tumour suppressor in late-stage PDAC.