Hypoxia is a characteristic feature of the tumor microenvironment in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We have recently explored new targeting molecules and pathways in PDAC cells under hypoxic conditions. In this study, we performed a microarray experiment to analyze the genes up-regulated in PDAC cell lines under hypoxia compared to normoxia, and identified human family with sequence similarity 115, member C (FAM115C) as a candidate gene for further study. Our data showed that FAM115C was overexpressed in PDAC cell lines under hypoxia, and FAM115C inhibition promoted PDAC cell migration and invasion in vitro. FAM115C inhibition did not affect tumor cell proliferation in PDAC. Immunohistochemically, FAM115C expression was observed ubiquitously in normal pancreas, pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) and PDAC tissue, and it was located mainly in the nucleus but also in the cytoplasm of cells. In qPCR analysis, high expression of FAM115C was correlated with better prognosis in patients with PDAC. Our findings suggest that FAM115C could be a novel tumor suppressor associated with prolonged survival in patients with PDAC.
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