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1.  Activation of the PKC Pathway Stimulates Ovarian Cancer Cell Proliferation, Migration, and Expression of MMP7 and MMP101 
Biology of Reproduction  2013;89(3):73.
Postmenopausal women are at a higher risk of ovarian cancer due, in part, to increased levels of gonadotropins such as luteinizing hormone (LH). Gonadotropins and other stimuli are capable of activating two pathways, PKA and PKC, that are altered in ovarian cancer. To determine the role of LH on ovarian cancer, we explored the effects of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), an LH mimic, and an activator of the PKC pathway, phorbol-12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), on ovarian cancer cell-cycle kinetics and apoptosis in Ovcar3 cells. PMA treatment increased cells in the S phase of the cell cycle and initially increased apoptosis after 4 h before diminishing apoptosis after 8 h. Treatment of ovarian cancer cells with hCG had no effect on these parameters. The PKC pathway is known to differentially regulate matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression. Results showed that ovarian cancer cells treated with PMA increased MMP7 and MMP10 mRNA levels after 8 h of treatment, and expression remained high after 12 h before decreasing at 24 h. The mRNA expression of extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer (BSG), an activator of MMPs, was unaffected by PMA. Due to the role that MMPs play in migration, we investigated the effect of PMA activation of MMPs on ovarian cancer cell migration. The use of the MMP inhibitor GM6001 blocked the increased migratory effects of PMA on ovarian cancer cells. Together, these studies show that activating the PKC pathway causes significant changes in cell cycle kinetics and selective expression of MMPs that are involved in enhancing ovarian cancer cell proliferation and migration.
Activation of the PKC pathway increases ovarian cancer migration that is associated with an increase in MMP7 and MMP10.
PMCID: PMC4094197  PMID: 23843242
cancer; gene expression; migration; MMPs; ovary
2.  Identification of Hepsin and Protein Disulfide Isomerase A3 as Targets of Gelatinolytic Action in Rat Ovarian Granulosa Cells During the Periovulatory Period1  
Biology of Reproduction  2011;85(4):858-866.
The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family is believed to play a role in the ovulatory process because MMP inhibitors block oocyte release. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which the MMPs affect ovulation. The present study investigated the degradomic actions of the gelatinases, MMP2 and MMP9, by identifying gelatinolytic targets in periovulatory granulosa cells. Granulosa cells were collected from immature rats 48 h after equine chorionic gonadotropin treatment and were cultured with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the absence or presence of a specific MMP2/9 inhibitor ((2R)-2-[(4-biphenylylsulfonyl)amino]-3-phenylpropionic acid) for an additional 24 h. The conditioned media was analyzed for gelatinolytic activity, progesterone, and peptide profiles. Gelatinolytic activity and progesterone were induced in response to hCG; however, there was no difference in progesterone between cells treated with or without the inhibitor. Peptide fragments of proteins altered in the presence of the gelatinase inhibitor were identified by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Protein disulfide isomerase A3 (PDIA3), which plays a role in protein folding, was identified as a peptide that decreased in the presence of inhibitor while the serine protease hepsin, was found to increase with inhibitor treatment. Subsequent experiments established that PDIA3 and hepsin were targets of MMP2/9 action by cleavage with MMP2 and Western blot analysis, respectively. Additionally, hepsin was identified as a gelatinolytic target in ovarian cancer cells. In the present study, proteomics has identified proteins that may be involved in novel ways in the complex cascades that are mediated by gelatinolytic MMPs during the periovulatory period.
Gelatinases from rat granulosa cells degrade hepsin and protein disulfide isomerase A3.
PMCID: PMC3184295  PMID: 21734266
corpus luteum; hepsin; matrix metalloproteinase; ovulation; protein disulfide isomerase A3
3.  Specific Thiazolidinediones Inhibit Ovarian Cancer Cell Line Proliferation and Cause Cell Cycle Arrest in a PPARγ Independent Manner 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e16179.
Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonists, such as the thiazolinediones (TZDs), have been studied for their potential use as cancer therapeutic agents. We investigated the effect of four TZDs—Rosiglitazone (Rosi), Ciglitazone (CGZ), Troglitazone (TGZ), and Pioglitazone (Pio)—on ovarian cancer cell proliferation, PPARγ expression and PPAR luciferase reporter activity. We explored whether TZDs act in a PPARγ dependent or independent manner by utilizing molecular approaches to inhibit or overexpress PPARγ activity.
Principal Findings
Treatment with CGZ or TGZ for 24 hours decreased proliferation in three ovarian cancer cell lines, Ovcar3, CaOv3, and Skov3, whereas Rosi and Pio had no effect. This decrease in Ovcar3 cell proliferation was due to a higher fraction of cells in the G0/G1 stage of the cell cycle. CGZ and TGZ treatment increased apoptosis after 4 hours of treatment but not after 8 or 12 hours. Treatment with TGZ or CGZ increased PPARγ mRNA expression in Ovcar3 cells; however, protein levels were unchanged. Surprisingly, luciferase promoter assays revealed that none of the TZDs increased PPARγ activity. Overexpression of wild type PPARγ increased reporter activity. This was further augmented by TGZ, Rosi, and Pio indicating that these cells have the endogenous capacity to mediate PPARγ transactivation. To determine whether PPARγ mediates the TZD-induced decrease in proliferation, cells were treated with CGZ or TGZ in the absence or presence of a dominant negative (DN) or wild type overexpression PPARγ construct. Neither vector changed the TZD-mediated cell proliferation suggesting this effect of TZDs on ovarian cancer cells may be PPARγ independent.
CGZ and TGZ cause a decrease in ovarian cancer cell proliferation that is PPARγ independent. This concept is supported by the finding that a DN or overexpression of the wild type PPARγ did not affect the changes in cell proliferation and cell cycle.
PMCID: PMC3025024  PMID: 21283708

Results 1-3 (3)