Tyrosine 23 phosphorylation-dependent cell-surface localization of annexin A2 is required for invasion and metastases of pancreatic cancer

Lei Zheng, Kelly Foley, Lanqing Huang, Ashley Leubner, Guanglan Mo, Kelly Olino, Barish H. Edil, Masamichi Mizuma, Rajni Sharma, Dung T. Le, Robert A. Anders, Peter B. Illei, Jennifer E. van Eyk, Anirban Maitra, Daniel Laheru, Elizabeth M. Jaffee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


The aggressiveness of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is characterized by its high metastatic potential and lack of effective therapies, which is the result of a lack of understanding of the mechanisms involved in promoting PDA metastases. We identified Annexin A2 (ANXA2), a member of the Annexin family of calcium-dependent phospholipid binding proteins, as a new molecule that promotes PDA invasion and metastases. We found ANXA2 to be a PDA-associated antigen recognized by post-treatment sera of patients who demonstrated prolonged survival following treatment with a PDA-specific vaccine. Cell surface ANXA2 increases with PDA development and progression. Knockdown of ANXA2 expression by RNA interference or blocking with anti-ANXA2 antibodies inhibits in vitro invasion of PDA cells. In addition, post-vaccination patient sera inhibits in vitro invasion of PDA cells, suggesting that therapeutic anti-ANXA2 antibodies are induced by the vaccine. Furthermore, cell-surface localization of ANXA2 is tyrosine 23 phosphorylation-dependent; and tyrosine 23 phosphorylation is required for PDA invasion. We demonstrated that tyrosine 23 phosphorylation resulting in surface expression of ANXA2 is required for TGFβ-induced, Rho-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), linking the cellular function of ANXA2 which was previously shown to be associated with small GTPase-regulated cytoskeletal rearrangements, to the EMT process in PDA. Finally, using mouse PDA models, we showed that shRNA knock-down of ANXA2, a mutation at tyrosine 23, or anti-ANXA2 antibodies, inhibit PDA metastases and prolong mouse survival. Thus, ANXA2 is part of a novel molecular pathway underlying PDA metastases and a new target for development of PDA therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere19390
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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