The transcription factor PAX8 promotes angiogenesis in ovarian cancer through interaction with SOX17

Daniele Chaves-Moreira, Marilyn A. Mitchell, Cristina Arruza, Priyanka Rawat, Simone Sidoli, Robbin Nameki, Jessica Reddy, Rosario I. Corona, Lena K. Afeyan, Isaac A. Klein, Sisi Ma, Boris Winterhoff, Gottfried E. Konecny, Benjamin A. Garcia, Donita C. Brady, Kate Lawrenson, Patrice J. Morin, Ronny Drapkin

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15 Scopus citations


PAX8 is a master transcription factor that is essential during embryogenesis and promotes neoplastic growth. It is expressed by the secretory cells lining the female reproductive tract, and its deletion during development results in atresia of reproductive tract organs. Nearly all ovarian carcinomas express PAX8, and its knockdown results in apoptosis of ovarian cancer cells. To explore the role of PAX8 in these tissues, we purified the PAX8 protein complex from nonmalignant fallopian tube cells and high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma cell lines. We found that PAX8 was a member of a large chromatin remodeling complex and preferentially interacted with SOX17, another developmental transcription factor. Depleting either PAX8 or SOX17 from cancer cells altered the expression of factors involved in angiogenesis and functionally disrupted tubule and capillary formation in cell culture and mouse models. PAX8 and SOX17 in ovarian cancer cells promoted the secretion of angiogenic factors by suppressing the expression of SERPINE1, which encodes a proteinase inhibitor with antiangiogenic effects. The findings reveal a non–cell-autonomous function of these transcription factors in regulating angiogenesis in ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabm2496
JournalScience signaling
Issue number728
StatePublished - Apr 5 2022

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