International journal of cancer

Transforming growth factor-beta-induced protein secreted by peritoneal cells increases the metastatic potential of ovarian cancer cells.

PMID 20521251


Ovarian cancer metastasis is characterized by the shedding of malignant cells from the surface of the ovary and their implantation onto the peritoneal surface, which lines the abdominal cavity. As the factors promoting this process are poorly understood, we investigated the ovarian cancer-peritoneal interaction by means of in vitro coculture experiments with ovarian cancer (OVCAR-5 and SKOV-3) and peritoneal (LP-9) cells. One of the proteins differentially expressed in the coculture secretome was identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry as the extracellular matrix protein transforming growth factor-beta-induced protein (TGFBIp, also known as βig-H3). Immunohistochemistry showed high TGFBIp levels in normal surface ovarian epithelial and peritoneal cells, whereas TGFBIp levels in primary serous ovarian carcinomas and matching metastatic implants was very low. In functional in vitro experiments, treatment with recombinant TGFBIp significantly increased the motility and invasiveness of OVCAR-5 and SKOV-3 cells and significantly increased ovarian cancer cell (OVCAR-5, OVCAR-3 and SKOV-3) adhesion to LP-9 cells. TGFBIp was found to be processed at both the N- and C-terminus in the secretome of the ovarian cancer-peritoneal cell coculture. Plasmin inhibitors blocked TGFBIp processing and significantly reduced OVCAR-5 cell adhesion to peritoneal cells. We conclude that TGFBIp expressed by peritoneal cells increases the metastatic potential of ovarian cancer cells. TGFBIp is therefore a potential novel therapeutic target against ovarian cancer.

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