Cholesterol Homeostasis Modulates Platinum Sensitivity in Human Ovarian Cancer

Daniela Criscuolo, Rosario Avolio, Giovanni Calice, Chiara Laezza, Simona Paladino, Giovanna Navarra, Francesca Maddalena, Fabiana Crispo, Cristina Pagano, Maurizio Bifulco, Matteo Landriscina, Danilo Swann Matassa, Franca Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite initial chemotherapy response, ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic cancer, due to frequent relapse and onset of drug resistance. To date, there is no affordable diagnostic/prognostic biomarker for early detection of the disease. However, it has been recently shown that high grade serous ovarian cancers show peculiar oxidative metabolism, which is in turn responsible for inflammatory response and drug resistance. The molecular chaperone TRAP1 plays pivotal roles in such metabolic adaptations, due to the involvement in the regulation of mitochondrial respiration. Here, we show that platinum-resistant ovarian cancer cells also show reduced cholesterol biosynthesis, and mostly rely on the uptake of exogenous cholesterol for their needs. Expression of FDPS and OSC, enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis, are decreased both in drug-resistant cells and upon TRAP1 silencing, whereas the expression of LDL receptor, the main mediator of extracellular cholesterol uptake, is increased. Strikingly, treatment with statins to inhibit cholesterol synthesis reduces cisplatin-induced apoptosis, whereas silencing of LIPG, an enzyme involved in lipid metabolism, or withdrawal of lipids from the culture medium, increases sensitivity to the drug. These results suggest caveats for the use of statins in ovarian cancer patients and highlights the importance of lipid metabolism in ovarian cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 30 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Cholesterol Homeostasis Modulates Platinum Sensitivity in Human Ovarian Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this