Profiling of protein kinases in the neoplastic transformation of human ovarian surface epithelium

Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Aug;82(2):305-11. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2001.6280.


Objective: The aim of this study was to study the pattern of protein kinase expression in a culture model of epithelial ovarian carcinogenesis.

Methods: Cultures of normal human ovarian surface epithelium (OSE), OSE from women with BRCA1 mutations, a cell culture model of preneoplastic (SV40 T-antigen-immortalized, nontumorigenic) and neoplastic (SV40-E-cadherin transfected, tumorigenic) OSE, and three ovarian cancer cell lines were used to represent OSE phenotypes of different genetic backgrounds and at different, progressive stages of neoplastic transformation. The protein kinase network signaling was studied by Western blotting, simultaneously using multiple antibodies for specific protein kinases.

Results: High levels of cGMP-dependent protein kinase were found in normal and preneoplastic OSE, but were absent in neoplastic OSE. In contrast, expression of MEK6 was detected exclusively in neoplastic OSE. The expressions of casein kinase II (CK2), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), cyclin-dependent kinase, and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) effectors Akt2 and p70 S6 kinase (S6K) were several-fold higher in neoplastic OSE than in normal OSE, whereas the expressions of the MAPKs extracellular signal-regulated kinases ERK1 and -2 were unchanged. Importantly, constitutive phosphorylation of Akt2 and p70 S6K, as found in neoplastic OSE, was also observed in overtly normal OSE from women with predisposing BRCA1 gene mutations.

Conclusions: These data demonstrate that different repertoires of downstream signaling proteins, particularly those of the MEK6-p38 MAPK-CK2 pathway and the PI3K pathway, are correlated with phenotypic manifestations of a cell culture model of OSE at progressive stages in the development of ovarian cancer. Changes in PI3K effectors are already found in overtly normal OSE from women with BRCA1 mutations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming / genetics
  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming / physiology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Epithelium / enzymology
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1 / genetics
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovary / enzymology
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Precancerous Conditions / enzymology*
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Protein Kinases / biosynthesis*
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Surface Properties
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming
  • Cadherins
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Protein Kinases