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Gynecol Oncol. 1999 Nov;75(2):254-60.

alphavbeta3 and vitronectin expression by normal ovarian surface epithelial cells: role in cell adhesion and cell proliferation.

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EA 1772, CJF INSERM 96-03, Laboratoire de Cancérologie Expérimentale, Centre François Baclesse, Route de Lion sur Mer, Caen Cedex, 14 076, France.


The alphavbeta3 integrin and its ligand vitronectin are expressed by differentiated epithelial ovarian carcinomas and carcinoma cell lines in culture. Moreover, alphavbeta3/vitronectin interaction influences adhesion and migration of ovarian carcinoma cells in culture. For a better understanding of the behavior of these carcinomas, it appeared necessary to study the characteristics of their normal counterpart, the ovarian surface epithelium (OSE). The present study showed that normal cultured human OSE cells, like the carcinoma cells, have the ability to synthesize vitronectin. The vitronectin receptor, alphavbeta3 integrin, is also expressed by OSE cells and is localized in focal contacts close to paxillin, a focal contact-specific protein, and p125(FAK), a cytoskeletal and signaling molecule. This localization suggested an active participation of the integrin in the adhesion and/or proliferation of OSE cells. Indeed, the use of a blocking antibody demonstrated that alphav integrins promote OSE cell adhesion on vitronectin but not on fibronectin and that these integrins are required for maximal proliferative activity. The results suggest a role of the alphavbeta3/vitronectin system in normal OSE physiology and demonstrate that the expression of this system by well-differentiated ovarian carcinomas reflects the retention of normal cell properties.

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