J Cancer 2017; 8(18):3733-3741. doi:10.7150/jca.20814

Research Paper

Galectin-1 promotes tumor progression via NF-κB signaling pathway in epithelial ovarian cancer

Le Chen1, Ying Yao2, Lijuan Sun1, Jie Tang1✉

1. Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Hunan Cancer Hospital, the Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, P.R. China.
2. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, the First People's Hospital of Yueyang, Yueyang, P.R. China.

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Chen L, Yao Y, Sun L, Tang J. Galectin-1 promotes tumor progression via NF-κB signaling pathway in epithelial ovarian cancer. J Cancer 2017; 8(18):3733-3741. doi:10.7150/jca.20814. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v08p3733.htm

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Purpose: We previously reported that Galectin-1 (Gal-1) played a role in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) progression. In this study, we aimed to further investigate the association between Gal-1 expression and prognosis in EOC patients and tried to reveal some novel potential mechanisms of Gal-1 in EOC invasion and migration.

Materials and Methods: Gal-1 and nucleus NF-κBp65 expression in 109 human epithelial ovarian cancer tissue specimens were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. The Cox model and survival curves were used to investigate the effect of Gal-1 on EOC prognosis. Correlation between Gal-1 expression and NF-κB activation in EOC patients was also analyzed. In vitro experiments were further performed to reveal the function and mechanisms of Gal-1 in invasion and migration of EOC cells.

Results: Expression level of Gal-1 in EOC tissue was an independent prognostic factor on overall survival (p<0.05) and progression-free survival (p<0.05). Patients with high Galectin-1 expression had shorter overall survival (OS, p<0.05)) and progression-free survival (PFS, p<0.05). Immunohistochemistry revealed that expression of Gal-1 was positively associated with activation of NF-κBp65 in EOC tissues (Kappa coefficient=0.458, p<0.001). Patients with tumors concomitantly co-over-expressing Gal-1 and NF-κBp65 had the worse OS (p<0.001) and PFS (p<0.001). The abilities of migration and invasion for EOC cells were significantly reduced after Gal-1 knocked-down in human EOC cell line HO8910, which was accompanied with the suppression of NF-κb pathway activation and with the matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 down-regulation.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that Gal-1 is associated with poor outcome in EOC and Galectin-1 promotes tumor progression via NF-κB pathway activation in EOC.

Keywords: epithelial ovarian cancer, Galectin-1, NF-κB signaling pathway, matrix metalloproteinase-2, matrix metalloproteinase-9, migration and invasion