Ovarian cancer (OC) displays the highest mortality among gynecological tumors, mainly due to early peritoneal dissemination, the high frequency of tumor relapse following primary debulking, and the development of chemoresistance. All these events are thought to be initiated and sustained by a subpopulation of neoplastic cells, termed ovarian cancer stem cells (OCSC), that are endowed with self-renewing and tumor-initiating properties. This implies that interfering with OCSC function should offer novel therapeutic perspectives to defeat OC progression. To this aim, a better understanding of the molecular and functional makeup of OCSC in clinically relevant model systems is essential. We have profiled the transcriptome of OCSC vs. their bulk cell counterpart from a panel of patient-derived OC cell cultures. This revealed that Matrix Gla Protein (MGP), classically known as a calcification-preventing factor in cartilage and blood vessels, is markedly enriched in OCSC. Functional assays showed that MGP confers several stemness-associated traits to OC cells, including a transcriptional reprogramming. Patient-derived organotypic cultures pointed to the peritoneal microenvironment as a major inducer of MGP expression in OC cells. Furthermore, MGP was found to be necessary and sufficient for tumor initiation in OC mouse models, by shortening tumor latency and increasing dramatically the frequency of tumor-initiating cells. Mechanistically, MGP-driven OC stemness was mediated by the stimulation of Hedgehog signaling, in particular through the induction of the Hedgehog effector GLI1, thus highlighting a novel MGP/Hedgehog pathway axis in OCSC. Finally, MGP expression was found to correlate with poor prognosis in OC patients, and was increased in tumor tissue after chemotherapy, supporting the clinical relevance of our findings. Thus, MGP is a novel driver in OCSC pathophysiology, with a major role in stemness and in tumor initiation.

Nieddu, V., Melocchi, V., Battistini, C., Franciosa, G., Lupia, M., Stellato, C., et al. (2023). Matrix Gla Protein drives stemness and tumor initiation in ovarian cancer. CELL DEATH & DISEASE, 14(3) [10.1038/s41419-023-05760-w].

Matrix Gla Protein drives stemness and tumor initiation in ovarian cancer

Colombo, N;
2023

Abstract

Ovarian cancer (OC) displays the highest mortality among gynecological tumors, mainly due to early peritoneal dissemination, the high frequency of tumor relapse following primary debulking, and the development of chemoresistance. All these events are thought to be initiated and sustained by a subpopulation of neoplastic cells, termed ovarian cancer stem cells (OCSC), that are endowed with self-renewing and tumor-initiating properties. This implies that interfering with OCSC function should offer novel therapeutic perspectives to defeat OC progression. To this aim, a better understanding of the molecular and functional makeup of OCSC in clinically relevant model systems is essential. We have profiled the transcriptome of OCSC vs. their bulk cell counterpart from a panel of patient-derived OC cell cultures. This revealed that Matrix Gla Protein (MGP), classically known as a calcification-preventing factor in cartilage and blood vessels, is markedly enriched in OCSC. Functional assays showed that MGP confers several stemness-associated traits to OC cells, including a transcriptional reprogramming. Patient-derived organotypic cultures pointed to the peritoneal microenvironment as a major inducer of MGP expression in OC cells. Furthermore, MGP was found to be necessary and sufficient for tumor initiation in OC mouse models, by shortening tumor latency and increasing dramatically the frequency of tumor-initiating cells. Mechanistically, MGP-driven OC stemness was mediated by the stimulation of Hedgehog signaling, in particular through the induction of the Hedgehog effector GLI1, thus highlighting a novel MGP/Hedgehog pathway axis in OCSC. Finally, MGP expression was found to correlate with poor prognosis in OC patients, and was increased in tumor tissue after chemotherapy, supporting the clinical relevance of our findings. Thus, MGP is a novel driver in OCSC pathophysiology, with a major role in stemness and in tumor initiation.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Ovarian cancer
English
28-mar-2023
2023
14
3
220
open
Nieddu, V., Melocchi, V., Battistini, C., Franciosa, G., Lupia, M., Stellato, C., et al. (2023). Matrix Gla Protein drives stemness and tumor initiation in ovarian cancer. CELL DEATH & DISEASE, 14(3) [10.1038/s41419-023-05760-w].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/410116
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