The cell surface transmembrane glycoprotein CD 155 is expressed in many different human tissue cells. This protein has also been shown to be expressed in pancreatic cells in patients suffering from pancreatic cancer. CD 155 is also referred to as a poliovirus receptor (PVR) on account of the fact that it has been implicated in infection with poliovirus in the primate animal model. Current evidence suggests that its function within normal cells is associated with maintaining cohesion between epithelial cells.
S. Nishiwada and his colleagues from the Department of Surgery, Nara Medical University in Kashihara Nara, Japapn have put considerable effort into the study of the role CD 155 expression in human pancreatic cancer within a clinical setting.
In their study of 134 patients with pancreatic cancer, they found that those patients that demonstrated high levels of CD 155 expression also showed a poorer postoperative prognosis than those with low expression of this protein. In addition, they have found an inverse relationship between the expression of CD 155 and the body’s ability to dispatch tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes to the site of the tumor in order to destroy cancerous cells. Furthermore, expression of CD 155 positively correlated with increased growth of the malignancy and angiogenesis – growth of new blood vessels towards the growing tumor. Both of these effects enhances tumor growth. As would be expected, suppression of CD 155 expression, inhibited cell division within pancreatic cancer cells.
Given these important findings, CD 155 may prove to be an important target in pancreatic cancer therapy.