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Hedgehog signaling regulates drug sensitivity by targeting ABC transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2 in epithelial ovarian cancer

Authors

  • Yi Chen,

    1. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University, Stanford, California
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  • Marcia M. Bieber,

    1. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University, Stanford, California
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  • Nelson N.H. Teng

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University, Stanford, California
    • Correspondence to: Director and Associate Professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Member, Stanford Cancer Institute, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University, 300 Pasteur Drive, HH333, Stanford, CA 94305-5317.

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Abstract

A major challenge of successful chemotherapy in ovarian cancer is overcoming intrinsic or acquired multi-drug resistance caused by active drug efflux mediated by ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. Regulation of these transporters in ovarian cancer is poorly understood. We have found that abnormal expression of the hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway transcription factor Gli1 is involved in the regulation of ABC transporters ABCB1 and ABCG2 in ovarian cancer. Hh is a known regulator of cancer cell proliferation and differentiation in several other types of invasive and metastatic malignancies. Our work has demonstrated that Gli1 is abnormally activated in a portion of ovarian cancers. Inhibition of Gli1 expression decreases ABCB1 and ABCG2 gene expression levels and enhances the response of ovarian cancer cells to certain chemotherapeutic drugs. The underlying mechanism is a direct association of Gli1 with a specific consensus sequence located in the promoter region of ABCB1 and ABCG2 genes. This study provides new understanding of ABC gene regulation by Hh signaling pathway, which may lead to the identification of new markers to detect and to anticipate ovarian cancer chemotherapy drug sensitivity. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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