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Br J Cancer. 1997;76(1):77-82.

Relationship between folate-binding protein expression and cisplatin sensitivity in ovarian carcinoma cell lines.

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Division of Experimental Oncology E, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.


It has been suggested that sensitivity of ovarian carcinomas to cisplatin is in part related to an endogenous folate deficiency. In this work, we investigated whether overexpression of the folate-binding protein (FBP), a receptor involved in folate transport, might be associated with cisplatin sensitivity. The results obtained on a panel of ten ovarian carcinoma cell lines that overexpress different levels of the FBP showed a statistically significant relationship between FBP overexpression and cisplatin responsiveness, with the most sensitive cell lines expressing higher FBP levels on their membrane than the less sensitive ones. The relationship was observed both in cells growing in standard medium-containing high-folate concentrations (2.3 microM) and in cells adapted to growth in low-folate (20 nM) medium. Analysis of two cisplatin-resistant cell lines derived from the cisplatin-sensitive IGROV1 ovarian carcinoma cell line indicated that resistance was associated with a significant decrease in FBP expression. However, the receptor does not appear to be directly responsible for drug sensitivity per se as different cell lines transfected with FBP cDNA did not become more sensitive to the drug. Together, the data suggest the possible predictive value of FBP in ovarian carcinoma, as higher levels of expression can be indirectly but significantly associated with increased drug sensitivity.

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