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Oncogene. 2007 Jan 11;26(2):198-214. Epub 2006 Jul 10.

Differentially androgen-modulated genes in ovarian epithelial cells from BRCA mutation carriers and control patients predict ovarian cancer survival and disease progression.

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The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mt Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Epidemiological studies have implicated androgens in the etiology and progression of epithelial ovarian cancer. We previously reported that some androgen responses were dysregulated in malignant ovarian epithelial cells relative to control, non-malignant ovarian surface epithelial (OSE) cells. Moreover, dysregulated androgen responses were observed in OSE cells derived from patients with germline BRCA-1 or -2 mutations (OSEb), which account for the majority of familial ovarian cancer predisposition, and such altered responses may be involved in ovarian carcinogenesis or progression. In the present study, gene expression profiling using cDNA microarrays identified 17 genes differentially expressed in response to continuous androgen exposure in OSEb cells and ovarian cancer cells as compared to OSE cells derived from control patients. A subset of these differentially affected genes was selected and verified by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Six of the gene products mapped to the OPHID protein-protein interaction database, and five were networked within two interacting partners. Basic leucine zipper transcription factor 2 (BACH2) and acetylcholinesterase (ACHE), which were upregulated by androgen in OSEb cells relative to OSE cells, were further investigated using an ovarian cancer tissue microarray from a separate set of 149 clinical samples. Both cytoplasmic ACHE and BACH2 immunostaining were significantly increased in ovarian cancer relative to benign cases. High levels of cytoplasmic ACHE staining correlated with decreased survival, whereas nuclear BACH2 staining correlated with decreased time to disease recurrence. The finding that products of genes differentially responsive to androgen in OSEb cells may predict survival and disease progression supports a role for altered androgen effects in ovarian cancer. In addition to BACH2 and ACHE, this study highlights a set of potentially functionally related genes for further investigation in ovarian cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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