Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal cancer types, and it is associated with a 5‑year survival rate of <10% due to limited early detection methods and ineffective therapeutic options. Thus, an improved understanding of the mechanisms involved in the early stages of PDAC tumorigenesis is crucial in order to identify potential novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets. The most common signalling aberrations in PDAC occur in the Wnt/Notch signalling pathway, as well as within the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway and its associated ligands, EGF and transforming growth factor‑β. In addition, the RAS family of oncogenes, which act downstream of EGFR, are found mutated in most pancreatic cancer samples. Plakoglobin, a component of the EGFR signalling pathway, serves an important role in normal cell adhesion; however, its role in PDAC is largely unknown. The present study used transcriptome sequencing and focussed proteome microarrays to identify dysregulated genes and proteins in PDAC. The presence of upregulated plakoglobin expression levels was identified as a distinguishing feature between the PDAC microenvironment and normal pancreatic tissue. Furthermore, plakoglobin was demonstrated to be associated with the differential upregulation of the PI3K/AKT and MAPK signalling pathways in the tumour microenvironment, which suggested that it may serve an important role in PDAC tumourigenesis.