Sp proteins play an important role in angiogenesis and growth of cancer cells, and specificity protein 1 (Sp1) has been linked to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in pancreatic cancer cells. RNA interference was used to investigate the role of Sp family proteins on regulation of VEGF expression and proliferation of Panc-1 pancreatic cancer cells. Using a series of constructs containing VEGF promoter inserts, it was initially shown that Sp1 and Sp3 were required for transactivation, and this was primarily dependent on proximal GC-rich motifs. We also showed that Sp4 was expressed in Panc-1 cells, and RNA interference assays suggested that Sp4 cooperatively interacted with Sp1 and Sp3 to activate VEGF promoter constructs in these cells. However, the relative, contributions of Sp proteins to VEGF expression were variable among different pancreatic cancer cell lines. Small inhibitory RNAs for Sp3, but not Sp1 or Sp4, inhibited phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein, blocked G 0/G1 → S-phase progression, and up-regulated p27 protein/promoter activity of Panc-1 cells; similar results were observed in other pancreatic cancer cells, suggesting that Sp3-dependent growth of pancreatic cancer cells is caused by inhibition of p27 expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research