A recent studied revealed the crucial role of a gene called ataxia-telangiectasia group D complementing (ATDC) in pancreatic tumour formation and that deletion of this gene resulted in a profound block of tumour formation in a mouse model of pancreatitis Inflamed pancreas).
ATDC is crucial for the dedifferentiation of acinar cells, which are responsible for secreting digestive enzymes.
Normally, acinar cells revert to a stem-cell like stage to repair tissue damage. However, when stressed acinar cells can transform into a stage called ‘pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia’ and become cancerous.
We found that deleting the ATDC gene in pancreatic cells resulted in one of the most profound blocks of tumor formation ever observed in a well-known mice model engineered to develop pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, […] which faithfully mimics the human disease.Dr. Diana Simeone, lead researcher
This research highlights that ATDC is involved in tumorigenesis, and may constitute a potential target for fighting pancreatic cancer.