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Cancers (Basel)


Protein kinase C iota (PKCι) functions as a bonafide human oncogene in lung and ovarian cancer and is required for Kras(G12D)-mediated lung cancer initiation and progression. PKCι expression is required for pancreatic cancer cell growth and maintenance of the transformed phenotype; however, nothing is known about the role of PKCι in pancreas development or pancreatic tumorigenesis. In this study, we investigated the effect of pancreas-specific ablation of PKCι expression on pancreatic cellular homeostasis, susceptibility to pancreatitis, and Kras(G12D)-mediated pancreatic cancer development. Knockout of pancreatic Prkci significantly increased pancreatic immune cell infiltration, acinar cell DNA damage, and apoptosis, but reduced sensitivity to caerulein-induced pancreatitis. Prkci-ablated pancreatic acinar cells exhibited P62 aggregation and a loss of autophagic vesicles. Loss of pancreatic Prkci promoted Kras(G12D)-mediated pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia formation but blocked progression to adenocarcinoma, consistent with disruption of autophagy. Our results reveal a novel promotive role for PKCι in pancreatic epithelial cell autophagy and pancreatic cancer progression.

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