Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 19 pp 23308—23327

Transcriptome and proteome analysis of the antitumor activity of maslinic acid against pancreatic cancer cells

Hewei Zhang1, , Lijun Kong1, , Yan Zhang1, , Cheng Wang1, *, , Linxiao Sun1, *, ,

  • 1 Department of Surgery, Key Laboratory of Diagnosis and Treatment of Severe Hepato-Pancreatic Diseases of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang Provincial Top Key Discipline in Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, P.R. China
* Equal contribution

Received: March 18, 2021       Accepted: September 29, 2021       Published: October 12, 2021
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2021 Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Maslinic acid (MA) is a triterpenoid compound of natural abundance in olive plants possessing numerous biological activities. The effect and molecular mechanism of MA on pancreatic cancer cells remain elusive. Here, we explored the anti-tumor activity of MA on human pancreatic cancer cells and the potential underlying molecular mechanism. The anti-cancer effects of MA on whole-cell processes, including proliferation, migration, and invasion in pancreatic cancer cells, were systematically assessed by colony formation, transwell, and migration assays. The search for potential therapeutic targets was achieved via transcriptomics and proteomics analyses. MA was demonstrated to inhibit the proliferation, migration, and invasion of PANC-1 and Patu-8988 cells, but induced apoptosis of these cells. Several key candidate genes and proteins of functional relevance for the anti-tumor activity of MA were identified through the association analysis of transcriptomics and proteomics. To our knowledge, this is the first transcription and proteomics-based comprehensive analysis of the mechanism of MA against pancreatic cancer. The findings demonstrate that MA holds promise as a therapeutic drug for managing pancreatic cancer.


DMEM: Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium; PCCs: Pancreatic cancer cells; PDAC: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; qRT-PCR: Quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR; RTCA: Real-time cell analysis; GO: Gene Ontology; DEGs: Differentially expressed genes; UACA: Uveal autoantigen with coiled-coil domains and ankyrin repeats; AK4: Adenylate kinase 4.