Increased expression of the large GTPase dynamin 2 potentiates metastatic migration and invasion of pancreatic ductal carcinoma

R. D. Eppinga, E. W. Krueger, S. G. Weller, L. Zhang, H. Cao, M. A. McNiven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Pancreatic ductal tumors invade local parenchyma and metastasize to distant organs. Src-mediated tyrosine kinase signaling pathways promote pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) metastasis, though the molecular mechanisms supporting this invasive process are poorly understood and represent important and novel therapeutic targets. The large GTPase Dynamin 2 (Dyn2), a Src-kinase substrate, regulates membrane-cytoskeletal dynamics although it is yet to be defined if it contributes to tumor cell migration and invasion. Therefore, the goal of this study was to test if Dyn2 is upregulated in human pancreatic tumors and to define its role in cell migration and metastatic invasion using in vitro assays and nude mouse models. Histological analysis showed that 81% of 85 patients had elevated Dyn2 in PDAC. To test if Dyn2 overexpression alters metastatic properties of human pancreatic tumor cells, stable clones of BxPC-3 cells overexpressing either wild-type Dyn2 or a phosphorylation-deficient mutant Dyn2Y(231/597)F known to attenuate Dyn2 function, were generated and analyzed. Importantly, tumor cells overexpressing Dyn2 protruded lamellipodia at twice the rate, migrated faster (180%) and farther (2.5-fold greater distance) on glass and through transwell chambers (2-3-fold more cells through the filter) compared with cells expressing Dyn2Y(231/597)F or vector alone. Further, depletion of Dyn2 and dynamin inhibitors Myristyl trimethyl ammonium bromides and Dynasore significantly reduced cell migration, wound healing and invasion in transwell assays compared with controls. To test the metastatic potential conferred by increased Dyn2 expression, the BxPC-3 cell lines were implanted orthotopically into the pancreas of nude mice. Cells expressing Dyn2-green fluorescent protein exhibited a threefold increase in large distal tumors compared with cells expressing Dyn2Y(231/597)F or vector alone. Finally, histological analysis revealed that Dyn2 is upregulated in 60% of human metastatic pancreatic tumors. These findings are the first to implicate dynamin in any neoplastic condition and to directly demonstrate a role for this mechanoenzyme in invasive cell migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1228-1241
Number of pages14
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 8 2012


  • Src
  • cell migration
  • dynamin 2 (Dyn2)
  • invasion
  • metastasis
  • pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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