Englander Institute for Precision Medicine

A pancreatic cancer organoid platform identifies an inhibitor specific to mutant KRAS.

TitleA pancreatic cancer organoid platform identifies an inhibitor specific to mutant KRAS.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsDuan X, Zhang T, Feng L, de Silva N, Greenspun B, Wang X, Moyer J, M Martin L, Chandwani R, Elemento O, Leach SD, Evans T, Chen S, Pan FCheng
JournalCell Stem Cell
Date Published2024 Jan 04
KeywordsAnimals, Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal, Cholesterol, Humans, Mice, Mutation, Organoids, Pancreatic Neoplasms, Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)

KRAS mutations, mainly G12D and G12V, are found in more than 90% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cases. The success of drugs targeting KRASG12C suggests the potential for drugs specifically targeting these alternative PDAC-associated KRAS mutations. Here, we report a high-throughput drug-screening platform using a series of isogenic murine pancreatic organoids that are wild type (WT) or contain common PDAC driver mutations, representing both classical and basal PDAC phenotypes. We screened over 6,000 compounds and identified perhexiline maleate, which can inhibit the growth and induce cell death of pancreatic organoids carrying the KrasG12D mutation both in vitro and in vivo and primary human PDAC organoids. scRNA-seq analysis suggests that the cholesterol synthesis pathway is upregulated specifically in the KRAS mutant organoids, including the key cholesterol synthesis regulator SREBP2. Perhexiline maleate decreases SREBP2 expression levels and reverses the KRAS mutant-induced upregulation of the cholesterol synthesis pathway.

Alternate JournalCell Stem Cell
PubMed ID38151022

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