We investigated biomarker CEACAM6, a highly abundant cell surface adhesion receptor that modulates the extracellular matrix (ECM) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) RNA-Seq data from PDA patients were analyzed for CEACAM6 expression and evaluated for overall survival, association, enrichment and correlations. A CRISPR/Cas9 Knockout (KO) of CEACAM6 in PDA cell line for quantitative proteomics, mitochondrial bioenergetics and tumor growth in mice were conducted. We found CEACAM6 is over-expressed in primary and metastatic basal and classical PDA subtypes. Highest levels are in classical activated stroma subtype. CEACAM6 over-expression is universally a poor prognostic marker in KRAS mutant and wild type PDA. High CEACAM6 expression is associated with low cytolytic T-cell activity in both basal and classical PDA subtypes and correlates with low levels of T-REG markers. In HPAF-II cells knockout of CEACAM6 alters ECM-cell adhesion, catabolism, immune environment, transmembrane transport and autophagy. CEACAM6 loss increases mitochondrial basal and maximal respiratory capacity. HPAF-II CEACAM6−/− cells are growth suppressed by >65% vs. wild type in mice bearing tumors. CEACAM6, a key regulator affects several hallmarks of PDA including the fibrotic reaction, immune regulation, energy metabolism and is a novel therapeutic target in PDA.
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