Macrophage migration inhibitory factor: a therapeutic target in gallbladder cancer

Tejaswini Subbannayya, Pamela Leal-Rojas, Mustafa A. Barbhuiya, Remya Raja, Santosh Renuse, Gajanan Sathe, Sneha M. Pinto, Nazia Syed, Vishalakshi Nanjappa, Arun H. Patil, Patricia Garcia, Nandini A. Sahasrabuddhe, Bipin Nair, Rafael Guerrero-Preston, Sanjay Navani, Pramod K. Tiwari, Vani Santosh, David Sidransky, T. S.Keshava Prasad, Harsha GowdaJuan Carlos Roa, Akhilesh Pandey, Aditi Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Poor prognosis in gallbladder cancer is due to late presentation of the disease, lack of reliable biomarkers for early diagnosis and limited targeted therapies. Early diagnostic markers and novel therapeutic targets can significantly improve clinical management of gallbladder cancer. Methods: Proteomic analysis of four gallbladder cancer cell lines based on the invasive property (non-invasive to highly invasive) was carried out using the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation labeling-based quantitative proteomic approach. The expression of macrophage migration inhibitory factor was analysed in gallbladder adenocarcinoma tissues using immunohistochemistry. In vitro cellular assays were carried out in a panel of gallbladder cancer cell lines using MIF inhibitors, ISO-1 and 4-IPP or its specific siRNA. Results: The quantitative proteomic experiment led to the identification of 3,653 proteins, among which 654 were found to be overexpressed and 387 were downregulated in the invasive cell lines (OCUG-1, NOZ and GB-d1) compared to the non-invasive cell line, TGBC24TKB. Among these, macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) was observed to be highly overexpressed in two of the invasive cell lines. MIF is a pleiotropic proinflammatory cytokine that plays a causative role in multiple diseases, including cancer. MIF has been reported to play a central role in tumor cell proliferation and invasion in several cancers. Immunohistochemical labeling of tumor tissue microarrays for MIF expression revealed that it was overexpressed in 21 of 29 gallbladder adenocarcinoma cases. Silencing/inhibition of MIF using siRNA and/or MIF antagonists resulted in a significant decrease in cell viability, colony forming ability and invasive property of the gallbladder cancer cells. Conclusions: Our findings support the role of MIF in tumor aggressiveness and suggest its potential application as a therapeutic target for gallbladder cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number843
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2015


  • Functional inhibition
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • MIF
  • RNA interference
  • Suicide substrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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