Energy balance effects on microRNA expression in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer
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Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with a five-year survival rate under 5%. Given the disease’s deadliness, increasing our understanding of the molecular nature of the pancreatic cancer is key to developing more effective preventive measures and treatments. Dietary energy restriction (DER) has been shown to have potent anticancer effects in pancreatic cancer, but the mechanism of action has yet to be completely elucidated. Here we investigate the potential of altered microRNA expression as a mechanism by which DER exerts its anticancer effect. Using the Exiqon microRNA Array, we identified several microRNAs of interest for further study. This includes microRNA (mir) 669c, a known regulator of glutathione-S transferases (linked to carcinogen metabolism and oxidative stress) that increases with age. To our knowledge, this is the first exploration of the effects of DER (which is known to suppress oxidative stress and other processes associated with aging and cancer) on microRNA expression. These findings may provide the initial steps towards identifying novel targets for pancreatic cancer prevention or treatment.