ABSTRACT: Epithelial ovarian cancer is highly angiogenic and high expression of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a proangiogenic protein. Calreticulin is a multifunctional protein with anti-angiogenic properties and its translocation to the tumor cell membrane promotes recognition and engulfment by dendritic cells. The aim of this work was to evaluate calreticulin expression in human normal ovaries, benign and borderline tumors, and epithelial ovarian cancer samples and to evaluate whether NGF regulates calreticulin expression in human ovarian surface epithelium and in epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines. Calreticulin mRNA and protein levels were analyzed using RT-PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry in 67 human ovarian samples obtained from our Institution. Calreticulin expression induced by NGF stimulation in cell lines was evaluated using RT-PCR, Western blot and immunocytochemistry. We found a significant increase of calreticulin mRNA levels in epithelial ovarian cancer samples as compared to normal ovaries, benign tumors, and borderline tumors. Calreticulin protein levels, evaluated by Western blot, were also increased in epithelial ovarian cancer with respect to benign and borderline tumors. When HOSE and A2780 cell lines were stimulated with Nerve Growth Factor, we found an increase in calreticulin protein levels compared to controls. This effect was reverted by GW441756, a TRKA specific inhibitor. These results suggest that NGF regulates calreticulin protein levels in epithelial ovarian cells through TRKA receptor activation.
Hormone and Metabolic Research 07/2012; 44(8):639-43. · 2.19 Impact Factor