Metastasis and invasion occur in the majority of epithelial ovarian carcinoma at diagnosis. To delineate the molecular signature in ovarian cancer invasion, we established and characterized a human ovarian endometrioid carcinoma (EC) cell line OVTW59-P0 and its invasion-related sublines (P1-P4, in the order of increasing invasive activity). P4 showed faster migration and larger xenograft formation with metastasis than P0. By microarray analysis of different gene expression among P0-P4 sublines, one group of gene was found negatively correlated with cancer invasion. Among these genes, IGFBP-3 was identified as one of the most remarkably suppressed gene that showed lower gene expression in P4 than P0. Re-expression of IGFBP-3 in P4 effectively inhibited cell migration, invasion and metastasis, but did not affect cell proliferation. In 35 patients with EC tumors, low IGFBP-3 expression correlated clinically with higher tumor grade, advanced stage and poor survival. Our results provide evidence and indicate that IGFBP-3 plays an important role as an invasion-metastasis suppressor in ovarian EC.
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