Nuclear receptor profiling of ovarian granulosa cell tumors

Horm Cancer. 2011 Jun;2(3):157-69. doi: 10.1007/s12672-011-0069-3.


Granulosa cell tumors of the ovary (GCT) represent ~5% of malignant ovarian tumors. The adult form is defined by a mutation in the FOXL2 gene. GCT exhibit many of the features of normal proliferating granulosa cells. We have profiled the expression of the 48 human nuclear receptors (NR) by quantitative RT-PCR in a panel of GCT and in two GCT-derived cell lines, COV434 and KGN. The highest level of expression is seen for COUP-TF2 with abundant expression of PPARγ, SF-1, and TR-α. Estrogen receptor (ER)-β is the most abundant of the steroid receptors with relatively high expression also of AR, ER-α, and PR. The concordance of expression for each NR across the tumors is remarkably high with same discordance between the cell lines and the tumors, particularly the COV434 line. No significant differences were observed with respect to tumor stage for NR expression. These findings provide a full profile of NR expression in GCT which will enable full characterization of their roles and potential as therapeutic targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Forkhead Box Protein L2
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / genetics
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / metabolism*
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / pathology
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • FOXL2 protein, human
  • Forkhead Box Protein L2
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear

Supplementary concepts

  • Granulosa cell tumor of the ovary