Overexpression of leptin receptor predicts an unfavorable outcome in Middle Eastern ovarian cancer

Shahab Uddin, Rong Bu, Maqbool Ahmed, Jehad Abubaker, Fouad Al-Dayel, Prashant Bavi, Khawla S. Al-Kuraya

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74 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Recent epidemiological studies have suggested that obesity is associated with ovarian cancer. Obesity hormone leptin and its receptor (Ob-R) contribute to tumor development by enhancing cell growth and survival. This study was design to investigate the prevalence of leptin and Ob-R in Middle Eastern epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and to analyze the role of leptin and the mechanisms under its action in EOC tissue sample and cell lines. Methods: The expression of leptin and Ob-R was examined by immunohistochemistry in a tissue microarray of 156 EOC samples. Proliferation of EOC cells in response to leptin was assessed by MTT assays, and its anti-apoptotic effects were determined by flow cytometry. Effect of leptin on PI3K/AKT signaling pathway was further determined by western blotting. Results: In clinical samples, Ob-R overexpression was seen in 59.2% EOCs and was significantly associated with poor progression free survival (p = 0.0032). Furthermore, Ob-R expression was associated with anti apoptotic proteins Bcl-XL (p = 0.0035) and XIAP (p = 0.0001). In vitro analysis using EOC cell lines showed that leptin stimulated cell proliferation and inhibits apoptosis via activation of PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Inhibition of PI3K activity by LY294002, a specific inhibitor of PI3-kinase abrogated leptin mediated PI3K/AKT signaling. Gene silencing of Ob-R with Ob-R siRNA in EOC cells resulted in down regulation of phospho-AKT and its down stream targets. Conclusion: Our findings have potential clinical implication for EOC development and progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1476
Number of pages1
JournalMolecular Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2009


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