Loss of E-cadherin disrupts ovarian epithelial inclusion cyst formation and collective cell movement in ovarian cancer cells
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Increased inclusion cyst formation in the ovary is associated with ovarian cancer development. We employed in vitro three-dimensional (3D) organotypic models formed by normal human ovarian surface epithelial (OSE) cells and ovarian cancer cells to study the morphologies of normal and cancerous ovarian cortical inclusion cysts and the molecular changes during their transitions into stromal microenvironment. When compared with normal cysts that expressed tenascin, the cancerous cysts expressed high levels of laminin V and demonstrated polarized structures in Matrigel; and the cancer cells migrated collectively when the cyst structures were positioned in a stromal-like collagen I matrix. The molecular markers identified in the in vitro 3D models were verified in clinical samples. Network analysis of gene expression of the 3D structures indicates concurrent downregulation of transforming growth factor beta pathway genes and high levels of E-cadherin and microRNA200 (miR200) expression in the cancerous cysts and the migrating cancer cells. Transient silencing of E-cadherin expression in ovarian cancer cells disrupted cyst structures and inhibited collective cell migration. Taken together, our studies employing 3D models have shown that E-cadherin is crucial for ovarian inclusion cyst formation and collective cancer cell migration.
© The Author(s) 2016. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified