HMGA2: a biomarker significantly overexpressed in high-grade ovarian serous carcinoma

Mod Pathol. 2010 May;23(5):673-81. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2010.49. Epub 2010 Mar 12.


Ovarian carcinoma consists of a group of histologically heterogeneous diseases involving distinct tumorigenic pathways. High-grade papillary serous carcinoma of the ovary is commonly associated with p53 mutations. HMGA2, an oncofetal protein, is found to be overexpressed in ovarian cancer. To study the function of HMGA2 in ovarian cancer, it is important to know which subtypes of ovarian cancer are associated with HMGA2 overexpression. In this study, we collected six different types of ovarian cancer and examined HMGA2 expression by immunohistochemistry, along with HMGA1, p53 and Ki-67. We found that HMGA2 overexpression was significantly higher in high-grade papillary serous carcinoma (64%) and carcinosarcoma (60%) than in other types of ovarian cancers (7-23%). HMGA2 overexpression was moderately associated with dominant p53 mutations (R=0.51). In addition, the microRNA in situ analysis revealed that let-7b, the HMGA2-negative regulators, were significantly lost in high-grade serous carcinoma. Our findings suggest that HMGA2 is an important molecular change significantly related to high-grade papillary serous carcinoma and is less common in other histological types of ovarian cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cystadenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Cystadenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • HMGA2 Protein / genetics
  • HMGA2 Protein / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • HMGA2 Protein
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • mirnlet7 microRNA, human