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OCT4 accelerates tumorigenesis through activating JAK/STAT signaling in ovarian cancer side population cells

Authors Ruan Z, Yang X, Cheng W

Received 17 July 2018

Accepted for publication 21 November 2018

Published 28 December 2018 Volume 2019:11 Pages 389—399

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S180418

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Nakshatri


Zhengyi Ruan, Xingyu Yang, Weiwei Cheng

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China

Background: Although surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy eliminate clinically apparent ovarian tumor, the 5-year survival rate is no more than 45%. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified for precaution of tumor metastasis and recurrence in many kinds of cancers including ovarian cancer.
Aim: This study aims to explore the function of OCT4, a CSC marker, in ovarian cancer progression and to investigate its underlying mechanism.
Materials and methods: By Hoechst side population (SP) technique, CSC-like SP cells from human ovarian cancer SKOV3 and A2780 cells were isolated and used for this study. shRNA and lentivirus targeting human OCT4 gene were used to knock down OCT4 in SP cells and upregulate OCT4 in non-SP (NSP) cells stably. Peficitinib was used to inhibit JAK/STAT signaling. Cell counting kit-8, flow cytometry, and in vivo xenograft model were used to evaluate the effects of OCT4/JAK/STAT on the viability, drug resistance, apoptosis, cycle, and tumorigenesis of the SP cells. Immunofluorescence staining was used to detect the location of STAT6.
Results: Results showed that OCT4 was upregulated in the SP of SKOV3 and A2780 cells when compared with the NSP cells. Downregulation of OCT4 inhibited SP cell viability, tumorigenesis, and reduced cell drug resistance and induced a G2/M phase arrest, while upregulation of OCT4 conferred NSP cell malignant features. Besides, OCT4 upregulation in NSP cells increased the phosphorylated levels of proteins in JAK and STAT families, especially in JAK1 and STAT6. Furthermore, the roles of apoptosis inhibition and viability, invasion, and tumorigenesis promotions induced by OCT4 in NSP cells were all abolished when adding peficitinib.
Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that OCT4 accelerated ovarian cancer progression through activating JAK/STAT signaling pathway.

Keywords: OCT4, JAK/STAT signaling, ovarian cancer, side population

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