The hedgehog signaling pathway plays an important role in EMT of pancreatic cancer cells, but the precise mechanisms remain elusive. Because S100A4 as a key EMT moleculer marker was found to be upregulated upon Gli1 in pancreatic cancer cells, we focused on the relationship between Shh-Gli1 signals and S100 genes family.On the base of cDNA microarray data, we investigated regulating mechanism of Gli1 to some members of S100A genes family in pancreatic cancer cell lines firstly. Then, the regulation of Gli1 to S100A4 gene was studied by molecular biology assays and the pro-metastasis effection of Gli1-dependent S100A4 was investigated in vitro. Finally, the expressions of Shh, Gli1, S100A4 and E-cadherin in pancreatic cancer tissues were studied by using immunohistochemistry assays.Five members of the S100 genes family, S100A2, S100A4, S100A6, S100A11, and S100A14 were found to be downregulated significantly upon Gli1 knockdown. Gli1 enhancer prediction combining with in vitro data demonstrated that Gli1 primarily regulates S100A family members via cis-acting elements. Indeed, the data indicate S100A4 and vimentin genes were upregulated significantly by Shh/Gli1-expression increasing and E-cadherin was significantly reduced at the same time. Migration of PC cells was increased significantly in a dose-dependent manner of Gli1 expression (P<0.05) and siS100A4 significantly reversed the response of PC cells induced by L-Shh transduction (P<0.01).Our data establish a novel connection between Shh-Gli1 signaling and S100A4 regulation, which imply that S100A4 might be one of the key factors in EMT mediated by Shh-Gli1 signaling in pancreatic cancer
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