Background: The purpose of this study was to characterise the oncogenic roles of C35, a novel protein binding partner of ΔNp73, in ovarian cancer and to investigate the functional significance of C35-ΔNp73 interaction in the regulation of chemo-resistance.
Methods: C35 expression was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR in human ovarian cancer tissues and cell lines. The aggressiveness of ovarian cancer cells overexpressing C35 was examined by cell proliferation, migration, soft agar and nude mouse xenograft. The significance of C35-ΔNp73 interaction in chemo-resistance was evaluated by apoptosis assays and cell viability after cisplatin treatment.
Results: The expression of C35 was significantly enhanced in human ovarian cancer tissues. Overexpression of C35 augmented proliferation, migration and tumourigenicity in ovarian cancer cell lines. C35 knockdown inhibited cell motility and cell growth. The co-expression of C35 and ΔNp73 by transient or stable transfection in ovarian cancer cells induced greater resistance to cisplatin treatment than did transfection with C35 or ΔNp73 alone. The cisplatin resistance was demonstrated to be caused by increased AKT and NFκB activity induced by C35-ΔNp73.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that ΔNp73 might cooperate with C35 to promote tumour progression and contribute to cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer cells. Future studies of the functional roles of ΔNp73 and C35 will provide insight that will aid in the establishment of new strategies and more effective therapies.