{beta}3-integrin expression on tumor cells inhibits tumor progression, reduces metastasis, and is associated with a favorable prognosis in patients with ovarian cancer

Am J Pathol. 2009 Nov;175(5):2184-96. doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2009.090028. Epub 2009 Oct 1.


The role of the vitronectin receptor (alpha(v)beta(3)-integrin) as a tumor promoter seems well established, and, consequently, therapies that block this integrin are currently in clinical testing. We undertook the current study to determine whether alpha(v)beta(3)-integrin is an appropriate target in ovarian cancer treatment. Expression of beta(3)-integrin in SKOV3ip1 ovarian cancer cells led to the overexpression of alpha(v)beta(3)-integrin on the cell surface and increased adhesion. However, alpha(v)beta(3)-integrin-overexpressing cells showed impaired invasion, protease expression, and colony formation. These results were recapitulated in xenograft studies: alpha(v)beta(3)-integrin-expressing cells showed increased adhesion to mouse peritoneum, but the overall number of metastatic nodules (105 versus 68 tumors) and tumor weight were significantly lower than those in the parental SKOV3ip1 cells. The alpha(v)beta(3)-integrin-overexpressing cells had a decreased proliferation rate mediated by inhibition of cyclin B1 and induction of phospho-Cdc2 and p53 expression, consistent with a G(2)M cell cycle arrest. Confirming the above results, inhibition of beta(3)-integrin in cultured or primary OvCa cells decreased adhesion but increased invasion and proliferation. Patients with tumors expressing high beta(3)-integrin had significantly better disease-free and overall survival (52 months versus 27 months, P < 0.05). This study shows that alpha(v)beta(3)-integrin expression on tumor cells actually slows tumor progression and acts as a tumor suppressor. Therefore, the vitronectin receptor might not be an appropriate therapeutic target in ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Integrin alphaVbeta3 / genetics
  • Integrin alphaVbeta3 / metabolism*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Omentum / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured*


  • Biomarkers
  • Integrin alphaVbeta3