Multi-modal Profiling of the Extracellular Matrix of Human Fallopian Tubes and Serous Tubal Intraepithelial Carcinomas

J Histochem Cytochem. 2022 Feb;70(2):151-168. doi: 10.1369/00221554211061359. Epub 2021 Dec 5.


Recent evidence supports the fimbriae of the fallopian tube as one origin site for high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). The progression of many solid tumors is accompanied by changes in the microenvironment, including alterations of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Therefore, we sought to determine the ECM composition of the benign fallopian tube and changes associated with serous tubal intraepithelial carcinomas (STICs), precursors of HGSOC. The ECM composition of benign human fallopian tube was first defined from a meta-analysis of published proteomic datasets that identified 190 ECM proteins. We then conducted de novo proteomics using ECM enrichment and identified 88 proteins, 7 of which were not identified in prior studies (COL2A1, COL4A5, COL16A1, elastin, LAMA5, annexin A2, and PAI1). To enable future in vitro studies, we investigated the levels and localization of ECM components included in tissue-engineered models (type I, III, and IV collagens, fibronectin, laminin, versican, perlecan, and hyaluronic acid) using multispectral immunohistochemical staining of fimbriae from patients with benign conditions or STICs. Quantification revealed an increase in stromal fibronectin and a decrease in epithelial versican in STICs. Our results provide an in-depth picture of the ECM in the benign fallopian tube and identified ECM changes that accompany STIC formation. (J Histochem Cytochem XX: XXX-XXX, XXXX).

Keywords: mass spectrometry; matrisome; multispectral immunohistochemistry; ovarian cancer; tumor microenvironment; tumor stroma.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / pathology*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology*
  • Fallopian Tubes / pathology*
  • Female
  • Fibronectins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Proteomics
  • Versicans / analysis


  • Fibronectins
  • Versicans