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Effect of the WWOX gene on the regulation of the cell cycle and apoptosis in human ovarian cancer stem cells

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In order to examine new ideas for gene therapy in ovarian cancer, the specific mechanism underlying the effects of the WW domain containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) gene on cell cycle regulation and apoptosis in human ovarian cancer stem cells was investigated. Ovarian cancer stem cells were transfected with a eukaryotic expression vector carrying the WWOX gene in vitro (recombinant plasmid) and cells transfected with the empty plasmid (empty plasmid) or untransfected cells were used as controls. Stably transfected cells were screened and amplified in culture and the WWOX protein was detected by western blot analysis in the three groups of cells. Western blot analysis was performed to detect the expression of cell cycle regulatory proteins cyclin E, cyclindependent kinase (CDK) 2, cyclin D1, CDK4 and apoptosisrelated protein Wnt5α and cJun Nterminal kinase (JNK), while polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect alterations in the mRNA expression levels of caspase3. The results demonstrated that the WWOX protein was stably expressed in cells of the recombinant plasmid group, but was not detected in cells of the empty plasmid group and the control group. Cell proliferation at each time point decreased significantly in the recombinant plasmid group compared with the empty plasmid group and the control group. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that the proportion of cells in the G0/G1 phase in the recombinant plasmid group was significantly higher than that of cells in the empty plasmid group and the control group. The rate of apoptosis in the recombinant plasmid group was significantly higher than that of cells in the empty plasmid group and the control group. Western blot analysis demonstrated that the expression levels of cyclin E, CDK2, cyclin D1 and CDK4 in the recombinant plasmid group were significantly lower than those in the empty plasmid group and the control group; however, the expression levels of Wnt5α and JNK were significantly higher than those in the empty plasmid group and the control group. PCR results demonstrated that the mRNA expression level of caspase3 in the recombinant plasmid group was significantly higher than that in the empty plasmid group and the control group. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the WWOX gene can be stably expressed in ovarian cancer stem cells and that it inhibits the proliferation of ovarian cancer stem cells. The WWOX gene can downregulate the expression levels of cell cycle proteins cyclin ECDK2 and cyclin D1CDK4, which affects the cell cycle of ovarian cancer stem cells. Furthermore, the WWOX gene can upregulate the mRNA expression levels of Wnt5α, JNK and caspase3, thus contributing to apoptosis of ovarian cancer stem cells. The present study demonstrated that the WWOX gene may be an important molecular target for the treatment of ovarian cancer in the future.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221002, P.R. China

Publication date: August 1, 2015

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  • Molecular Medicine Reports is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal available in print and online, that includes studies devoted to molecular medicine, underscoring aspects including pharmacology, pathology, genetics, neurosciences, infectious diseases, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. In vitro and in vivo studies of experimental model systems pertaining to the mechanisms of a variety of diseases offer researchers the necessary tools and knowledge with which to aid the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.
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