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Changes in the transcriptional profile in response to overexpression of the osteopontin-c splice isoform in ovarian (OvCar-3) and prostate (PC-3) cancer cell lines

Tatiana M Tilli1, Akeila Bellahcène2, Vincent Castronovo2 and Etel R P Gimba13*

Author Affiliations

1 Coordenação de Pesquisa, Programa de Carcinogênese Molecular, Instituto Nacional de Câncer (INCa)/Programa de Pós Graduação Stricto Sensu em Oncologia do INCa, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

2 Metastasis Research Laboratory, Grappe Disciplinaire de Génoprotéomique Appliquée (GIGA) Cancer, Liège University, Liège, Belgium

3 Departamento Interdisciplinar (RIR), Instituto de Humanidades e Sáude, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Recife, s/n –Bairro Bela Vista, Rio das Ostras, RJ, Brazil

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:433  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-433

Published: 13 June 2014



Especially in human tumor cells, the osteopontin (OPN) primary transcript is subject to alternative splicing, generating three isoforms termed OPNa, OPNb and OPNc. We previously demonstrated that the OPNc splice variant activates several aspects of the progression of ovarian and prostate cancers. The goal of the present study was to develop cell line models to determine the impact of OPNc overexpression on main cancer signaling pathways and thus obtain insights into the mechanisms of OPNc pro-tumorigenic roles.


Human ovarian and prostate cancer cell lines, OvCar-3 and PC-3 cells, respectively, were stably transfected to overexpress OPNc. Transcriptomic profiling was performed on these cells and compared to controls, to identify OPNc overexpression-dependent changes in gene expression levels and pathways by qRT-PCR analyses.


Among 84 genes tested by using a multiplex real-time PCR Cancer Pathway Array approach, 34 and 16, respectively, were differentially expressed between OvCar-3 and PC-3 OPNc-overexpressing cells in relation to control clones. Differentially expressed genes are included in all main hallmarks of cancer, and several interacting proteins have been identified using an interactome network analysis. Based on marked up-regulation of Vegfa transcript in response to OPNc overexpression, we partially validated the array data by demonstrating that conditioned medium (CM) secreted from OvCar-3 and PC-3 OPNc-overexpressing cells significantly induced endothelial cell adhesion, proliferation and migration, compared to CM secreted from control cells.


Overall, the present study elucidated transcriptional changes of OvCar-3 and PC-3 cancer cell lines in response to OPNc overexpression, which provides an assessment for predicting the molecular mechanisms by which this splice variant promotes tumor progression features.

Osteopontin; Splicing isoform; Gene expression; PCR array; Angiogenesis