Spheroid growth in ovarian cancer alters transcriptome responses for stress pathways and epigenetic responses
by Trillitye Paullin, Chase Powell, Christopher Menzie, Robert Hill, Feng Cheng, Christopher J. Martyniuk, Sandy D. WesterheideOvarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological cancer, with over 200,000 women diagnosed each year and over half of those cases leading to death. These poor statistics are related to a lack of early symptoms and inadequate screening techniques. This results in the cancer going undetected until later stages when the tumor has metastasized through a process that requires the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). In lieu of traditional monolayer cell culture, EMT and cancer progression in general is best characterized through the use of 3D spheroid models. In this study, we examine gene expression changes through microarray analysis in spheroid versus monolayer ovarian cancer cells treated with TGFβ to induce EMT. Transcripts that included Coiled-Coil Domain Containing 80 (CCDC80), Solute Carrier Family 6 (Neutral Amino Acid Transporter), Member 15 (SLC6A15), Semaphorin 3E (SEMA3E) and PIF1 5'-To-3' DNA Helicase (PIF1) were downregulated more than 10-fold in the 3D cells while Inhibitor Of DNA Binding 2, HLH Protein (ID2), Regulator Of Cell Cycle (RGCC), Protease, Serine 35 (PRSS35), and Aldo-Keto Reductase Family 1, Member C1 (AKR1C1) were increased more than 50-fold. Interestingly, EMT factors, stress responses and epigenetic processes were significantly affected by 3D growth. The heat shock response and the oxidative stress response were also identified as transcriptome responses that showed significant changes upon 3D growth. Subnetwork enrichment analysis revealed that DNA integrity (e.g. DNA damage, genetic instability, nucleotide excision repair, and the DNA damage checkpoint pathway) were altered in the 3D spheroid model. In addition, two epigenetic processes, DNA methylation and histone acetylation, were increased with 3D growth. These findings support the hypothesis that three dimensional ovarian cell culturing is physiologically different from its monolayer counterpart.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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