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Mol Cancer Res. 2019 Sep;17(9):1801-1814. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-18-1205. Epub 2019 May 30.

CD44 Regulates Formation of Spheroids and Controls Organ-Specific Metastatic Colonization in Epithelial Ovarian Carcinoma.

Author information

1
Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
2
Department of Pathology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
3
Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. mvb@uic.edu.

Abstract

Disseminating epithelial ovarian cancer cells often become assembled into spheroids prior to their arrival at metastatic sites within the peritoneal cavity. Although epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC) is the deadliest gynecologic malignancy, the mechanisms regulating formation and metastatic potential of spheroids are poorly understood. We show that expression of a cell surface glycoprotein CD44 is an important contributing factor for spheroid formation and spheroid adhesion to mesothelial cells, and its loss impairs mesenteric metastasis. In contrast, loss of CD44 resulted in significant increase of tumor burden at several locoregional sites, including liver, and unleashed distant metastases to the thoracic cavity. Altogether our studies suggest that CD44 regulates metastatic progression of EOC in an organ-specific manner. IMPLICATIONS: Expression of CD44 promotes spheroid formation, mesothelial adhesion, and formation of mesenteric metastasis, but it suppresses development of metastasis to several peritoneal sites, including liver, and the thoracic cavity.

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