J Cancer 2021; 12(14):4277-4287. doi:10.7150/jca.54163

Research Paper

Inhibition of p22phox Suppresses Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Cell Proliferation and Tumorigenesis

Qi Li1*, Xiaomin Feng2*, Fengnan Niu1*, Jun Yang1, Yuemei Xu1, Xiaohong Pu1, Jun Chen1, Xiangshan Fan1, Binghua Jiang3✉, Qin Huang1,4✉

1. Department of Pathology, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China.
2. Department of Pathology, Affiliated Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Nanjing Medical University/Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Nanjing, China.
3. Institute of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Academy of Medical Sciences, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China.
4. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women's Hospital, West Roxbury, MA, USA.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Li Q, Feng X, Niu F, Yang J, Xu Y, Pu X, Chen J, Fan X, Jiang B, Huang Q. Inhibition of p22phox Suppresses Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Cell Proliferation and Tumorigenesis. J Cancer 2021; 12(14):4277-4287. doi:10.7150/jca.54163. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p4277.htm

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The aim of this study was to investigate the biological role and molecular mechanism of p22phox in epithelial ovarian cancer. Immunohistochemistry was employed to determine the p22phox expression level in epithelial ovarian cancer tissues. The effects of p22phox on epithelial ovarian cancer cell proliferation, tumorigenesis, and chemosensitivity were evaluated by CCK-8, EdU assay, colony formation and apoptosis assays in vitro and by mouse experiments in vivo. Immunoprecipitation analyses were utilized to explore the potential mechanisms of p22phox mediated downstream signaling, and RT-PCR and western blot were used to confirm the relevance. P22phox expression could be detected in epithelial ovarian cancer tissues and normal fallopian epithelial cells. Silencing p22phox suppressed epithelial ovarian cancer cell proliferation and colony formation capacity in vitro, and inhibited the tumor growth in nude mice bearing the A2780 xenograft in vivo. Mechanistic investigations showed that p22phox regulated proteasome ubiquitination and subsequent proteasome-dependent degradation of p53 in A2780 and U87 cells in vitro. Furthermore, knockdown of p22phox significantly increased the chemosensitivity of A2780 cells to cisplatin or paclitaxel. These results suggested that p22phox as a pivotal oncogene during epithelial ovarian cancer carcinogenesis and p22phox inhibition might be a potential therapeutic strategy for epithelial ovarian cancer.

Keywords: p22phox, epithelial ovarian cancer, p53, tumorigenesis, chemosensitivity