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Cancer Res. 1999 Oct 1;59(19):4973-83.

Expression of OVCA1, a candidate tumor suppressor, is reduced in tumors and inhibits growth of ovarian cancer cells.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111, USA.


Loss of all or part of one copy of chromosome 17p is very common in ovarian and breast tumors. OVCA1 is a candidate tumor suppressor gene mapping to a highly conserved region on chromosome 17p13.3 that shows frequent loss of heterozygosity in breast and ovarian carcinomas. Western blot analysis of extracts prepared from breast and ovarian carcinomas revealed reduced expression of OVCA1 compared with extracts from normal epithelial cells from these tissues. Subcellular localization studies indicate that OVCA1 is localized to punctate bodies scattered throughout the cell but is primarily clustered around the nucleus. Attempts to create cell lines that stably expressed OVCA1 from the cytomegalovirus promoter were generally unsuccessful in a variety of different cell lines. This reduction of colony formation was quantified in the ovarian cancer cell line A2780, where it was demonstrated that cells transfected with plasmids expressing OVCA1 had a 50-60% reduction in colony number as compared with appropriate controls, and only a few of these clones expressed OVCA1, albeit at low levels. The clones that expressed exogenous OVCA1 were found to have dramatically reduced rates of proliferation. Reduced growth rates correlated with an increased proportion of the cells in the G1 fraction of the cell cycle compared with the parental cell line and decreased levels of cyclin D1. The low levels of cyclin D1 appeared to be caused by an accelerated rate of cyclin D1 degradation. Overexpression of cyclin D1 was able to override OVCA1's suppression of clonal outgrowth. These results suggest that slight alterations in the level of OVCA1, such as would occur after reduction of chromosome 17p13.13 to hemizygosity, may result in cell cycle deregulation and promote tumorigenesis.

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