Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.469, No.3, 449-455, 2016
Rad6 upregulation promotes stem cell-like characteristics and platinum resistance in ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most deadly cancer in women in the United States and despite advances in surgical and chemotherapeutic treatments survival rates have not significantly improved in decades. The poor prognosis for ovarian cancer patients is largely due to the extremely high (80%) recurrence rate of ovarian cancer and because the recurrent tumors are often resistant to the widely utilized platinum based chemotherapeutic drugs. In this study, expression of Rad6, an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, was found to strongly correlate with ovarian cancer progression. Furthermore, in ovarian cancer cells Rad6 was found to stabilize beta-catenin promoting stem cell-related characteristics, including expression of stem cell markers and anchorage-independent growth. Cancer stem cells can promote chemoresistance, tumor recurrence and metastasis, all of which are limiting factors in treating ovarian cancer. Thus it is significant that Rad6 overexpression led to increased resistance to the chemotherapeutic drug carboplatin and correlated with tumor cell invasion. These findings show the importance of Rad6 in ovarian cancer and emphasize the need for further studies of Rad6 as a potential target for the treatment of ovarian cancer. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.