The DEK Oncoprotein Functions in Ovarian Cancer Growth and Survival

Kari E. Hacker, Danielle E. Bolland, Lijun Tan, Anjan K. Saha, Yashar S. Niknafs, David M. Markovitz, Karen McLean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


DNA damage repair alterations play a critical role in ovarian cancer tumorigenesis. Mechanistic drivers of the DNA damage response consequently present opportunities for therapeutic targeting. The chromatin-binding DEK oncoprotein functions in DNA double-strand break repair. We therefore sought to determine the role of DEK in epithelial ovarian cancer. DEK is overexpressed in both primary epithelial ovarian cancers and ovarian cancer cell lines. To assess the impact of DEK expression levels on cell growth, small interfering RNA and short hairpin RNA approaches were utilized. Decreasing DEK expression in ovarian cancer cell lines slows cell growth and induces apoptosis and DNA damage. The biologic effects of DEK depletion are enhanced with concurrent chemotherapy treatment. The in vitro effects of DEK knockdown are reproduced in vivo, as DEK depletion in a mouse xenograft model results in slower tumor growth and smaller tumors compared to tumors expressing DEK. These findings provide a compelling rationale to target the DEK oncoprotein and its pathways as a therapeutic strategy for treating epithelial ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1209-1218
Number of pages10
JournalNeoplasia (United States)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported in part by the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance Geri Fournier Ovarian Cancer Research Awards to K. M., by R01 DK 109188 from the National Institutes of Health to D.M., and by the generous support of the Haller Family and the Goldberg Family.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors


Dive into the research topics of 'The DEK Oncoprotein Functions in Ovarian Cancer Growth and Survival'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this