Pannexin-1 expression in tumor cells correlates with colon cancer progression and survival

Aaron Fierro-Arenas, Glauben Landskron, Ilan Camhi-Vainroj, Benjamín Basterrechea, Daniela Parada-Venegas, Lorena Lobos-González, Karen Dubois-Camacho, Catalina Araneda, Camila Romero, Antonia Domínguez, Gonzalo Vásquez, Francisco López-K, Karin Alvarez, Carlos M. González, Carolina Hager Ribeiro, Elisa Balboa, Eliseo Eugenin, Marcela A. Hermoso, Marjorie De la Fuente López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: Pannexin-1 (PANX1) is a hemichannel that releases ATP upon opening, initiating inflammation, cell proliferation, and migration. However, the role of PANX1 channels in colon cancer remains poorly understood, thus constituting the focus of this study. Main methods: PANX1 mRNA expression was analyzed using multiple cancer databases. PANX1 protein expression and distribution were evaluated by immunohistochemistry on primary tumor tissue and non-tumor colonic mucosa from colon cancer patients. PANX1 inhibitors (probenecid or 10Panx) were used to assess colon cancer cell lines viability. To study the role of PANX1 in vivo, a subcutaneous xenograft model using HCT116 cells was performed in BALB/c NOD/SCID immunodeficient mice to evaluate tumor growth under PANX1 inhibition using probenecid. Key findings: PANX1 mRNA was upregulated in colon cancer tissue compared to non-tumor colonic mucosa. Elevated PANX1 mRNA expression in tumors correlated with worse disease-free survival. PANX1 protein abundance was increased on tumor cells compared to epithelial cells in paired samples, in a cancer stage-dependent manner. In vitro and in vivo experiments indicated that blocking PANX1 reduced cell viability and tumor growth. Significance: PANX1 can be used as a biomarker of colon cancer progression and blocking PANX1 channel opening could be used as a potential therapeutic strategy against this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122851
JournalLife Sciences
StatePublished - Aug 15 2024


  • Biomarker
  • Cancer progression
  • Colon cancer
  • PANX1
  • Probenecid
  • Therapeutic targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics


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