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Mol Cancer. 2010 Oct 13;9:272. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-9-272.

An essential role for Ran GTPase in epithelial ovarian cancer cell survival.

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  • 1Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal/Institut du cancer de Montréal,1560 Sherbrooke Est, Montreal H2L 4M1, Canada.



We previously identified that Ran protein, a member of the Ras GTPase family, is highly expressed in high grade and high stage serous epithelial ovarian cancers, and that its overexpression is associated with a poor prognosis. Ran is known to contribute to both nucleocytoplasmic transport and cell cycle progression, but its role in ovarian cancer is not well defined.


Using a lentivirus-based tetracycline-inducible shRNA approach, we show that downregulation of Ran expression in aggressive ovarian cancer cell lines affects cellular proliferation by inducing a caspase-3 associated apoptosis. Using a xenograft tumor assay, we demonstrate that depletion of Ran results in decreased tumorigenesis, and eventual tumor formation is associated with tumor cells that express Ran protein.


Our results suggest a role for Ran in ovarian cancer cell survival and tumorigenicity and suggest that this critical GTPase may be suitable as a therapeutic target.

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