Multiple cystic sphere formation from PK-8 cells in three-dimensional culture

Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports(2022)

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Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) culture of cancer cells mimics the in vivo environment. Recently, we reported that pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell lines with epithelial and mesenchymal features formed differently shaped spheres in 3D culture. However, only PK-8 cells, the epithelial PDAC cell line with the highest E-cadherin expression among the eight PDAC cell lines, formed multiple cystic spheres in 3D culture. Optical coherence tomography revealed interconnected cysts inside the spheres. A weak inter-cellular adhesion, individual cell degeneration, necrosis, and secretory granules in the cytoplasm were observed in the PK-8 spheres using electron microscopy. The expression of MUC1, MUC5AC, and amylase was increased in PK-8 cells in the 3D culture compared with that in 2D culture. These findings suggest that highly E-cadherin-expressing epithelial PK-8 cells form multiple cystic spheres, which may be promoted by enhanced mucin and amylase synthesis in 3D culture.
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Key words
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma/PDAC,E-cadherin,PK-8,Sphere,Cyst,Three-dimensional culture
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