Approximately 80% of pancreatic cancer patients suffer from cachexia and one-third die due to cachexia-related complications such as respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. Although there has been considerable research into cachexia mechanisms and interventions, there are, to date, no FDA-approved therapies. A major contributing factor could be the failure of animal models to accurately recapitulate the human condition. In this study, we generated an aged model of pancreatic cancer cachexia to compare cachexia progression in young versus aged tumor-bearing mice. Comparative skeletal muscle transcriptome analyses identified 3-methyladenine (3-MA) as a candidate anti-wasting compound. In vitro analyses confirmed anti-wasting capacity while in vivo analysis revealed potent anti-tumor effects. Transcriptome analyses of 3-MA-treated tumor cells implicated Perp as a 3-MA target gene. We subsequently 1) observed significantly higher expression of Perp in cancer cell lines compared to control cells, 2) noted a survival disadvantage associated with elevated Perp, and 3) found that 3-MA-associated Perp reduction inhibited tumor cell growth. Finally, we provide in vivo evidence that survival benefits conferred by 3-MA administration are independent of its effect on tumor progression. Taken together, we report a novel mechanism linking 3-MA to Perp inhibition, and further implicate PERP as a novel tumor promoting factor in pancreatic cancer.
Aneesha Dasgupta, Paige C. Arneson-Wissink, Rebecca E. Schmitt, Dong Seong Cho, Alexandra M. Ducharme, Tara L. Hogenson, Eugene W. Krueger, William R. Bamlet, Lizhi Zhang, Gina L. Razidlo, Martin E. Fernandez-Zapico, Jason D. Doles