Date of Graduation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
PAX2 is one of nine PAX genes regulating tissue development and cellular differentiation in embryos. PAX2 promotes cell proliferation, oncogenic transformation, cell-lineage specification, migration, and survival. Unattenuated PAX2 has been found in several cancer types. We therefore sought to elucidate the role of PAX2 in ovarian carcinomas. We found that PAX2 was expressed in low-grade serous, clear cell, endometrioid and mucinous cell ovarian carcinomas, which are relatively chemoresistant compared to high grade serous ovarian carcinomas. Four ovarian cancer cell lines, RMUGL (mucinous), TOV21G (clear cell), MDAH-2774 (endometrioid) and IGROV1 (endometrioid), which express high-levels of PAX2, were used to study the function of PAX2. Lentiviral shRNAs targeting PAX2 were used to knock down PAX2 expression in these cell lines. Cellular proliferation and motility assays subsequently showed that PAX2 stable knockdown had slower growth and migration rates. Microarray gene expression profile analysis further identified genes that were affected by PAX2 including the tumor suppressor gene G0S2. Reverse phase protein array (RPPA) data showed that PAX2 knockdown affected several genes that are involved in apoptosis, which supports the fact that downregulation of PAX2 in PAX2-expressing ovarian cancer cells inhibits cell growth. We hypothesize that this growth inhibition is due to upregulation of the tumor suppressor gene G0S2 via induction of apoptosis. PAX2 represents a potential therapeutic target for chemoresistant PAX2-expressing ovarian carcinomas.
PAX2, G0S2, apoptosis, ovarian cancer treatment, chemoresistant