Background: This study aimed to investigate whether the DNA methylation of human ovarian carcinoma stromal progenitor cells (OCSPCs) could promote the tumorigenesis of ovarian carcinoma. Methods: OCSPCs were first isolated from fresh tumor tissues and ascites of ovarian cancer patients. In vivo and in vitro experiments on the effect of the OCSPCs on tumorigenesis and the effects of DNA demethylation on the OCSPCs were then performed. Results: The OCSPCs possessed self-renewal and multipotent differentiation capacity with elevated expressions of OCT4, NANOG, BMP2, BMP4, Rex-1, AC133 and TGF-β. The OCSPCs, when combined with tumor cells in vivo could promote tumor growth. The methylation profiles of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) were significantly higher in the OCSPCs than in ovarian cancer cells (p <0.001). 5-aza-2-dC could alter the methylation levels of TSGs in OCSPCs and also inhibit the tumor promoting capabilities of the OCSPCs by decreasing the proliferation of tumors cells. The expression levels of TSGs were re-expressed by 5-aza-2-dC to inhibit the self-renewal and growth of OCSPCs. Conclusions: OCSPCs with decreased TSG expressions in the ovarian tumor microenvironment were able to promote tumorigenesis which could be reversed by DNA demethylation. DNA demethylation reversing the expression of TSGs in OCSPCs may represent a potential therapeutic target for ovarian cancer.
- Ovarian carcinoma stromal progenitor cells
- Tumor suppressor genes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)