Background/Aims: Point mutations of the K-ras gene are detected in >90% of human pancreatic cancers and may play an important role in tumorigenesis. However, correlations between mutant K-ras and the invasive activity of the tumor have remained unclarified. Methods: 17-mer phosphorothioate antisense oligonucleotides targeting K-ras point mutations were transfected into three kinds of human pancreatic cancer cell lines (MIAPaCa-2, PANC-1, and BxPC-3), and the invasive activity was investigated using an in vitro chemoinvasion assay. Results: Antisense oligonucleotides strongly inhibited the invasive activity of the cell lines with mutant K-ras genes (MIAPaCa-2, PANC-1), but not in that with a wild-type K-ras (BxPC-3). Conclusion: Antisense oligonucleotides specific to mutated K-ras genes inhibited the invasiveness of human pancreatic cancer cell lines. Specific antisense therapy to the point mutation of K-ras might be a new anticancer strategy for pancreatic cancer.

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