Research Papers:

Integrin-linked kinase activity modulates the pro-metastatic behavior of ovarian cancer cells

Lana Bruney, Yueying Liu, Anne Grisoli, Matthew J. Ravosa and M. Sharon Stack _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:21968-21981. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7880

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Lana Bruney1,2, Yueying Liu2,3, Anne Grisoli2, Matthew J. Ravosa4, M. Sharon Stack1,2,3

1Department of Medical Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO, USA

2Harper Cancer Research Institute, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, USA

3Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA

4Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA

Correspondence to:

M. Sharon Stack, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: integrin linked kinase, ovarian cancer, integrin, membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase, metastasis

Received: January 07, 2016    Accepted: February 20, 2016    Published: March 03, 2016


Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most fatal gynecologic cancer in the U.S., resulting in >14,000 deaths/year. Most women are diagnosed at late stage with widely disseminated intra-peritoneal metastatic disease, resulting in a 5-year survival rate of <30%. EOCs spread via direct extension and exfoliation into the peritoneal cavity, adhesion to peritoneal mesothelial cells, mesothelial cell retraction to expose sub-mseothelial matrix and anchoring in the type I collagen-rich matrix to generate secondary lesions. As a molecular-level understanding of EOC metastasis may identify novel therapeutic targets, the current study evaluated the expression and activity of integrin-linked kinase (ILK), a Ser/Thr protein kinase activated upon integrin-mediated adhesion. Results show that ILK is co-expressed in EOC with the pro-metastatic enzyme membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) and catalyzed phosphorylation of the cytoplasmic tail of the proteinase. Downregulation of ILK expression or activity reduced adhesion to and invasion of collagen gels and organotypic meso-mimetic cultures. As an initial early event in EOC metastasis is integrin-mediated adhesion, these results suggest that further evaluation of ILK inhibitors as anti-metastatic agents in EOC is warranted.

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