PloS one

NuMA overexpression in epithelial ovarian cancer.

PMID 22719996


Highly aneuploid tumours are common in epithelial ovarian cancers (EOC). We investigated whether NuMA expression was associated with this phenomenon.NuMA protein levels in normal and tumour tissues, ovarian cell lines and primary cultures of malignant cells derived from ovarian ascitic fluids were analysed by Affymetrix microarray analysis, immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF), with results correlated to associated clinical data. Aneuploidy status in primary cultures was determined by FACS analysis.Affymetrix microarray data indicated that NuMA was overexpressed in tumour tissue, primary cultures and cell lines compared to normal ovarian tissue. IHC revealed low to weak NuMA expression in normal tissues. Expression was upregulated in tumours, with a significant association with disease stage in mucinous EOC subtypes (p = 0.009), lymph node involvement (p = 0.03) and patient age (p = 0.04). Additional discontinuous data analysis revealed that high NuMA levels in tumours decreased with grade (p = 0.02) but increased with disease stage (p = 0.04) in serous EOC. NuMA expression decreased in late disease stage 4 endometrioid EOCs. High NuMA levels decreased with increased tumour invasion in all subtypes (p = 0.03). IF of primary cultures revealed that high NuMA levels at mitotic spindle poles were significantly associated with a decreased proportion of cells in cytokinesis (p = 0.05), increased binucleation (p = 0.021) and multinucleation (p = 0.007), and aneuploidy (p = 0.008).NuMA is highly expressed in EOC tumours and high NuMA levels correlate with increases in mitotic defects and aneuploidy in primary cultures.