Research Papers:

Candidate genes and pathways downstream of PAX8 involved in ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma

Tiziana de Cristofaro, Tina Di Palma, Amata Amy Soriano, Antonella Monticelli, Ornella Affinito, Sergio Cocozza and Mariastella Zannini _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:41929-41947. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9740

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Tiziana de Cristofaro1,*, Tina Di Palma1,*, Amata Amy Soriano1,2, Antonella Monticelli1, Ornella Affinito1,2, Sergio Cocozza2, Mariastella Zannini1

1IEOS, Institute of Experimental Endocrinology and Oncology “G. Salvatore”, National Research Council, Naples, Italy

2Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Mariastella Zannini, email: s.zannini@ieos.cnr.it

Keywords: PAX8, ovarian cancer, fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells, RNA-seq, transcriptional networks

Received: March 24, 2016     Accepted: May 16, 2016     Published: May 31, 2016


Understanding the biology and molecular pathogenesis of ovarian epithelial cancer (EOC) is key to developing improved diagnostic and prognostic indicators and effective therapies. Although research has traditionally focused on the hypothesis that high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) arises from the ovarian surface epithelium (OSE), recent studies suggest that additional sites of origin exist and a substantial proportion of cases may arise from precursor lesions located in the Fallopian tubal epithelium (FTE). In FTE cells, the transcription factor PAX8 is a marker of the secretory cell lineage and its expression is retained in 96% of EOC. We have recently reported that PAX8 is involved in the tumorigenic phenotype of ovarian cancer cells. In this study, to uncover genes and pathways downstream of PAX8 involved in ovarian carcinoma we have determined the molecular profiles of ovarian cancer cells and in parallel of Fallopian tube epithelial cells by means of a silencing approach followed by an RNA-seq analysis. Interestingly, we highlighted the involvement of pathways like WNT signaling, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, p53 and apoptosis. We believe that our analysis has led to the identification of candidate genes and pathways regulated by PAX8 that could be additional targets for the therapy of ovarian carcinoma.

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