Enhanced expression of Annexin A4 in clear cell carcinoma of the ovary and its association with chemoresistance to carboplatin



Clear cell carcinoma (CCC) of the ovary is known to be highly resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy. The purpose of our study was to identify a candidate protein that is associated with chemoresistance of CCC and to investigate the specific mechanism of chemoresistance conferred by the identified protein. Enhanced expression of Annexin A4 (Anx A4) was identified in ovarian CCC cells using 2-D differential gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and mass spectrometry. Anx A4 levels were elevated in CCC cells compared with non-CCC cells as determined by real-time RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Immunohistochemical analysis of Anx A4 was performed in 126 epithelial ovarian cancer tissue samples and demonstrated significantly elevated levels of Anx A4 protein levels in ovarian CCC tumors compared with ovarian serous and endometrioid tumors (p < 0.01). Anx A4-transfected ovarian non-CCC cells were more resistant to carboplatin (IC50 = 42 μM) compared with control cells (IC50 = 23 μM) as determined by modified MTT assay. Intracellular platinum levels were significantly lower in Anx A4-transfected cells compared with control cells after carboplatin treatment (p = 0.0020) and after an additional 360 min of carboplatin-free incubation (p = 0.0004), as measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Expression of Anx A4 is elevated in ovarian CCC tumors and is associated with chemoresistance in cultured ovarian cancer cells. These results demonstrate that Anx A4 confers chemoresistance in ovarian cancer cells in part by enhancing drug efflux. Thus, Anx A4 may represent a novel therapeutic target of chemoresistance in patients with ovarian CCC. © 2009 UICC