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Progranulin expression induced by follicle-stimulating hormone in ovarian cancer cell lines depends on the histological subtype


Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is a heterogeneous disease that can be categorized into four major histological subtypes. Its etiology remains poorly understood due mainly to this heterogeneity. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) has been implicated as a risk factor in EOC and has been suggested that may influence the development of specific subtypes. In addition, FSH regulates different aspects of ovarian cancer tumorigenesis. FSH downstream target genes in EOC have not been fully identified. Progranulin (PGRN) overexpression is associated with cell proliferation, invasion, chemoresistance, and shortened overall survival in ovarian cancer. Recently, we demonstrated that PGRN expression is regulated through the PI3K signaling pathway in clear cell ovarian carcinoma (CCOC) cells. In contrast, we also demonstrated that PGRN synthesis in serous ovarian cancer (SOC) cells is regulated via PKC but not by the PI3K signaling pathway. Several studies have demonstrated that FSH induces PKC and PI3K activation. Thus, this study was to investigate the effect of FSH on PGRN production in the CCOC cell line TOV-21G as compared to the SOC cell lines SKOV3 and OVCAR3. Cultured TOV-21G, SKOV3, and OVCAR3 cells were incubated with different concentrations of FSH for 48 h. PGRN mRNA and protein expression were assessed by RT-PCR and Western blotting, while PGRN secretion was measured by ELISA. PGRN mRNA and protein expression, as well as PGRN secretion, significantly increased after FSH stimulation in TOV-21G but not in SKOV3 and OVCAR3 cells. These data indicate that FSH induces PGRN expression and secretion only in CCOC cells. Establishing specific features for CCOC could reveal potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets.

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This study was supported by a Grant from the Fondo de Investigacion en Salud, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (FIS/IMSS/PROT/G11/987) to Laura Diaz-Cueto, MD, PhD. Carlos Eduardo Perez-Juarez was a graduate student in the Posgrado en Ciencias Biologicas at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. He was supported by a scholarship from the CONACYT, México (Num. 365460/245530) and the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (Matricula: 99095927), CDMX, Mexico.

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Correspondence to Laura Díaz-Cueto.

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Perez-Juarez, C.E., Arechavaleta-Velasco, F., Mendez, C. et al. Progranulin expression induced by follicle-stimulating hormone in ovarian cancer cell lines depends on the histological subtype. Med Oncol 37, 59 (2020).

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  • Follicle-stimulating hormone
  • FSH
  • Progranulin
  • Clear cell ovarian carcinoma
  • Ovarian cancer