Purpose: Epithelial ovarian tumors (EOT) are among the most lethal of malignancies in women.Wehave previously identified ZIC2 as expressed at a higher level in samples of a malignant form (MAL) of EOT than in samples of a form with low malignant potential (LMP). We have now investigated the role of ZIC2 in driving tumor growth and its association with clinical outcomes. Experimental Design: ZIC2 expression levels were analyzed in two independent tumor tissue collections of LMP and MAL. In vitro experiments aimed to test the role of ZIC2 as a transforming gene. Cox models were used to correlate ZIC2 expression with clinical endpoints. Results: ZIC2 expression was about 40-fold in terms of mRNA and about 17-fold in terms of protein in MAL (n = 193) versus LMP (n = 39) tumors. ZIC2 mRNA levels were high in MAL cell lines but undetectable in LMP cell lines. Overexpression of ZIC2 was localized to the nucleus. ZIC2 overexpression increases the growth rate and foci formation of NIH3T3 cells and stimulates anchorage-independent colony formation; downregulation of ZIC2 decreases the growth rate ofMALcell lines. Zinc finger domains 1 and 2 are required for transforming activity. In stage I MAL, ZIC2 expression was significantly associated with overall survival in both univariate (P = 0.046) and multivariate model (P = 0.049). Conclusions: ZIC2, a transcription factor related to the sonic hedgehog pathway, is a strong discriminant between MAL and LMP tumors: it may be a major determinant of outcome of EOTs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research