Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Res. 2019 Nov 1;79(21):5536-5549. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-3029. Epub 2019 Sep 17.

Chromosomal Instability and mTORC1 Activation through PTEN Loss Contribute to Proteotoxic Stress in Ovarian Carcinoma.

Author information

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.
Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Immunology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Medical Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Division of Rheumatology, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


High-grade serous ovarian carcinoma commonly arises from fallopian tube secretory epithelium and is characterized by a high level of chromosomal instability. To model the acquisition of aneuploidy during early carcinogenesis, chromosome missegregation was induced in immortalized tubal epithelial cells, which proved acutely detrimental to cellular fitness. The phenotype was characterized by accumulation of misfolded proteins, activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR), decreased protein synthesis, and enhanced vulnerability to proteasome inhibition. However, chromosome missegregation also resulted in heightened transformation potential, assessed by colony formation in soft agar. Ovarian cancer cells retained intrinsic sensitivity to proteasome inhibitors under adherent culture conditions, but acquired resistance as spheroids (recapitulating their native configuration in ascites) by downregulating protein synthesis via mTORC1 suppression. Loss of PTEN drove constitutive mTORC1 activity, enhanced proteotoxic stress, as evidenced by UPR induction, and resensitized tumor spheroids to proteasome inhibition both in vitro and in vivo. In cohorts of primary ovarian carcinomas, mTORC1 and UPR signaling pathways were closely associated. These results implicate attenuation of protein synthesis as a protective mechanism in tumor spheroids, which may explain the overall poor response to bortezomib in clinical trials of patients with advanced ovarian cancer. However, patients with PTEN-deficient tumors may represent a subpopulation potentially amenable to treatment with proteasome inhibitors or other therapeutic agents that disrupt protein homeostasis. SIGNIFICANCE: Chromosome instability and protein synthesis are important factors that determine the efficacy of proteotoxic stress-inducing agents, such as proteasome inhibitors, in the treatment of ovarian cancer.Graphical Abstract:

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center