Overexpression of transmembrane protease, serine 3 (TMPRSS3) has been detected in ovarian cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms of TMPRSS3 in ovarian cancer remain unclear. In the present study, we found that TMPRSS3 was significantly expressed in ovarian cancer cells. Overexpression of TMPRSS3 promoted the proliferation, invasion and migration of A2780 cells. Conversely, knockdown of TMPRSS3 in HO8910 cells inhibited the proliferation, invasion and migration. Furthermore, TMPRSS3 affected the expression levels of E-cadherin, vimentin and Twist. In addition, TMPRSS3 induced activation of ERK1/2 in ovarian cancer cells, and the ERK1/2 pathway was required for the TMPRSS3-mediated proliferation, invasion and migration of ovarian cancer cells. Finally, knockdown of TMPRSS3 inhibited ovarian cancer HO8910 cell growth and metastasis in vivo. Collectively, the present study suggests that TMPRSS3 plays a crucial role in the development and progression of ovarian cancer. Therefore, TMPRSS3 represents a potential therapeutic target of ovarian cancer.
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