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Oncogene. 2019 Jan 9. doi: 10.1038/s41388-018-0658-5. [Epub ahead of print]

Delta-like 1 homologue promotes tumorigenesis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition of ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma through activation of Notch signaling.

Huang CC1,2, Cheng SH3,4, Wu CH5,6, Li WY7,8, Wang JS3,9, Kung ML10, Chu TH4,11, Huang ST12,13, Feng CT4, Huang SC4,14, Tai MH15,16,17,18.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. huangcc@cgmh.org.tw.
2
Biobank and Tissue Bank, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. huangcc@cgmh.org.tw.
3
Department of Pathology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
4
Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
5
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
6
Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan.
7
Department of Pathology, Fooyin University Hospital, Pingtung, Taiwan.
8
Department of Biological Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
9
Biobank and Tissue Bank, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
10
Department of Chemistry, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
11
Center for Neuroscience, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
12
Doctoral Degree Program in Marine Biotechnology, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
13
Doctoral Degree Program in Marine Biotechnology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
14
Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
15
Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. minghongtai@gmail.com.
16
Department of Biological Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. minghongtai@gmail.com.
17
Center for Neuroscience, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. minghongtai@gmail.com.
18
Graduate Institute of Clinical Science, Kaohsiung Medical University, 807, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. minghongtai@gmail.com.

Abstract

Ovarian carcinoma is the most lethal type of gynecologic malignancies. Alterations of Notch pathway are prevalent in ovarian carcinogenesis. This study investigated the expression profile and function of delta-like 1 homolog (DLK1), a non-canonical Notch ligand, during ovarian carcinogenesis. Tissue microarray (TMA) consisting of surgically resected samples from 221 patients with ovarian carcinoma was constructed for DLK1 expression. DLK1 overexpression or knockdown was achieved by adenovirus gene delivery to evaluate the effect of DLK1 on the oncogenic behaviors in ovarian cancer cells and in xenografted tumors. TMA analysis revealed that elevated DLK1 expression was correlated with stages, lymph node metastasis and E-cadherin downregulation. Despite no influence on survival among ovarian carcinoma patients, DLK1 overexpression was specially associated with overall survival and progression free survival in high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) patients, constituting an independent prognostic factor for these patients. By adenovirus gene delivery, it was found modulation of cellular DLK1 level regulated the tumorigenic behaviors and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in vitro and in vivo. Immunohistochemical analysis further showed that DLK1 overexpression resulted in escalated proliferation, angiogenesis, EMT and Notch activities. Application of recombinant DLK1 extracellular domain (rDLK1-EC) recapitulated the tumorigenic behaviors of DLK1 in ovarian cancer cells. By using neutralizing antibody or pharmaceutical inhibitor, blockade of Notch signaling attenuated the tumorigenic behaviors evoked by DLK1 overexpression. The present study indicates that DLK1 overexpression participates in ovarian carcinogenesis through Notch activation and EMT induction. Moreover, DLK1 may constitute a novel diagnostic biomarker and therapeutic target for HGSC.

PMID:
30626939
DOI:
10.1038/s41388-018-0658-5

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