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Open Access Research article

Overexpression of human sperm protein 17 increases migration and decreases the chemosensitivity of human epithelial ovarian cancer cells

Fang-qiu Li1*, Yan-ling Han1, Qun Liu1, Bo Wu2, Wen-bin Huang2 and Su-yun Zeng3

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Jinling Hospital, School of Medicine, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210002, PR China

2 Department of Pathology, Jinling Hospital, School of Medicine, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210002, PR China

3 Department of Gynecology, Jinling Hospital, School of Medicine, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210002, PR China

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BMC Cancer 2009, 9:323  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-323

Published: 11 September 2009

Abstract

Background

Most deaths from ovarian cancer are due to metastases that are resistant to conventional therapies. But the factors that regulate the metastatic process and chemoresistance of ovarian cancer are poorly understood. In the current study, we investigated the aberrant expression of human sperm protein 17 (HSp17) in human epithelial ovarian cancer cells and tried to analyze its influences on the cell behaviors like migration and chemoresistance.

Methods

Immunohistochemistry and immunocytochemistry were used to identify HSp17 in paraffin embedded ovarian malignant tumor specimens and peritoneal metastatic malignant cells. Then we examined the effect of HSp17 overexpression on the proliferation, migration, and chemoresistance of ovarian cancer cells to carboplatin and cisplatin in a human ovarian carcinoma cell line, HO8910.

Results

We found that HSp17 was aberrantly expressed in 43% (30/70) of the patients with primary epithelial ovarian carcinomas, and in all of the metastatic cancer cells of ascites from 8 patients. The Sp17 expression was also detected in the metastatic lesions the same as in ovarian lesions. None of the 7 non-epithelial tumors primarily developed in the ovaries was immunopositive for HSp17. Overexpression of HSp17 increased the migration but decreased the chemosensitivity of ovarian carcinoma cells to carboplatin and cisplatin.

Conclusion

HSp17 is aberrantly expressed in a significant proportion of epithelial ovarian carcinomas. Our results strongly suggest that HSp17 plays a role in metastatic disease and resistance of epithelial ovarian carcinoma to chemotherapy.