Epithelial-mesenchymal transformation of a newly established cell line from ovarian adenosarcoma by transforming growth factor-beta1

Int J Cancer. 1996 Mar 28;66(1):91-7. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19960328)66:1<91::AID-IJC16>3.0.CO;2-E.


We report on 2 cell lines (designated OVAK-I and OVAK-II) established from an adenosarcoma, a rare variant of a malignant Mullerian mixed tumor, of the ovary. OVAK-I was not tumorigenic in nude mice and showed no responsiveness to transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1, whereas OVAK-II was tumorigenic and had various biological properties. Light- and electron-microscopic studies showed that the morphology of the cells was converted from an epithelial to a mesenchymal form by TGF-betaI. Furthermore, the protein and mRNA expressions of the epithelial marker carcinoembryonic antigen and the mesenchymal marker vimentin were down- and up-regulated, respectively, by TGF-beta1. These findings suggested that TGF-beta1 plays a role in epithelial-mesenchymal transformation and support the single-stem-cell theory which explains the origin of malignant Mullerian mixed tumors: that the epithelial and mesenchymal components of these tumors are of common stem-cell origin.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosarcoma / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / genetics
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chromosome Banding
  • Clone Cells
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Mesoderm / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / cytology*
  • Vimentin / genetics
  • Vimentin / metabolism


  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Vimentin