Ovarian clear cell carcinoma meets metabolism; HNF-1β confers survival benefits through the Warburg effect and ROS reduction

Masaki Mandai _, Yasuaki Amano, Ken Yamaguchi, Noriomi Matsumura, Tsukasa Baba and Ikuo Konishi

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:30704-30714. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5228

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Masaki Mandai1,2, Yasuaki Amano1, Ken Yamaguchi1, Noriomi Matsumura1, Tsukasa Baba1 and Ikuo Konishi1

1 Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka-Sayama, Japan

Correspondence to:

Masaki Mandai, email:

Keywords: ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC), HNF1β, cancer-specific metabolism, oxidative stress, Warburg effect

Received: June 29, 2015 Accepted: August 10, 2015 Published: August 31, 2015


Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) constitutes one of the subtypes of ovarian cancers, but it has unique clinical, histological and biological characteristics, one of which is chemo-resistance. It is also known to develop from endometriotic cyst, a benign ovarian tumor, at relatively high frequency. Recently, it is becoming well known that most of OCCCs express HNF1β, a transcription factor, which is closely associated with the development of liver, pancreas and kidney, as well as occurrence of familial forms of type 2 diabetes. Expression of HNF1β is now regarded as a hallmark of this tumor. Nevertheless, exact biological function of this gene in OCCC has not been clarified. We have shown in previous studies that microenvironment in endometriotic cysts contains severe oxidative stress and OCCC develops under such stressful environment as stress-resistant tumor, which may lead to chemo-resistance. We also showed that increased expression of HNF1β facilitates glucose uptake and glycolysis, which is known as Warburg effect. In the previous issue of this journal, by using comprehensive metabolome analysis, we report that HNF1β actually reduces and protects themselves from internal oxidative stress by dramatically changing cellular metabolism. In this article, we review the relevance and significance of cancer-specific metabolism and how they are associated with biological characteristics of OCCC via expression of HNF1β, along with future clinical implications of targeting cancer-specific metabolism.

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