Angiogenesis is a crucial step in growing tissues including many tumors. It is regulated by pro- and antiangiogenic factors including the family of angiopoietins and their corresponding receptors. In previous work we have shown that in human ovarian cells the expression of angiopoietin 2 (ANG2) is regulated by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). To better understand the mechanisms of hCG-dependent regulation of the ANG2-gene we have now investigated upstream regulatory active elements of the ANG2-promoter in the ovarian carcinoma cell line OVCAR-3. We cloned several ANG2-promoter-fragments of different lengths into a luciferase reporter-gene-vector and analyzed the corresponding ANG2 expression before and after hCG stimulation. We identified regions of the ANG2-promoter between 1 048 bp and 613 bp upstream of the transcriptional start site where hCG-dependent pathways promote a significant downregulation of gene expression. By sequence analysis of this area we found several potential binding sites for transcription factors that are involved in regulation of ANG2-expression, vascular development and ovarian function. These encompass the forkhead family transcription factors FOXC2 and FOXO1 as well as the CCAAT/enhancer binding protein family (C/EBP). In conclusion, we have demonstrated that the regulation of ANG2-expression in ovarian cancer cells is hCG-dependent and we suggest that forkhead transcription factor and C/EBP-dependent pathways are involved in the regulation of ANG2-expression in ovarian cancer cells.
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart-New York.