Ovarian cancer stem cell-like side populations are enriched following chemotherapy and overexpress EZH2

Siân Rizzo, Jenny M Hersey, Paul Mellor, Wei Dai, Alessandra Santos-Silva, Daniel Liber, Louisa Luk, Ian Titley, Craig P Carden, Garry Box, David L Hudson, Stanley B Kaye, Robert Brown
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2011, 10 (2): 325-35
Platinum-based chemotherapy, with cytoreductive surgery, is the cornerstone of treatment of advanced ovarian cancer; however, acquired drug resistance is a major clinical obstacle. It has been proposed that subpopulations of tumor cells with stem cell-like properties, such as so-called side populations (SP) that overexpress ABC drug transporters, can sustain the growth of drug-resistant tumor cells, leading to tumor recurrence following chemotherapy. The histone methyltransferase EZH2 is a key component of the polycomb-repressive complex 2 required for maintenance of a stem cell state, and overexpression has been implicated in drug resistance and shorter survival of ovarian cancer patients. We observed higher percentage SP in ascites from patients that have relapsed following chemotherapy compared with chemonaive patients, consistent with selection for this subpopulation during platinum-based chemotherapy. Furthermore, ABCB1 (P-glycoprotein) and EZH2 are consistently overexpressed in SP compared with non-SP from patients' tumor cells. The siRNA knockdown of EZH2 leads to loss of SP in ovarian tumor models, reduced anchorage-independent growth, and reduced tumor growth in vivo. Together, these data support a key role for EZH2 in the maintenance of a drug-resistant, tumor-sustaining subpopulation of cells in ovarian cancers undergoing chemotherapy. As such, EZH2 is an important target for anticancer drug development.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"