E-cadherin expression in Human Ovarian Cancer Cell Line Caov-3
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It was estimated that 21,650 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,520 women would’ve died of ovarian cancer in 2008. Stage 1 ovarian cancer is treatable 95% of the time, but due to a lack of symptoms, most cancers are not diagnosed until stage 3 or 4 when metastasis to the abdomen and other peritoneal organs has already occurred. E-cadherin is a transmembrane protein that localizes to adherens junctions and is responsible for establishing intercellular junctions between neighboring cells. When E-cadherin is highly expressed in the primary tumor, there is usually decreased metastatic potential because the cells tend to stick together and stay in the primary tumor. Metastatic ascites cells express significantly less E-cadherin than primary tumor cells. This change in expression is a potential therapeutic target for prevention of ovarian cancer metastasis. This is fluorescent immunocytochemistry of a human ovarian cancer cell line, Caov-3, expressing high E-cadherin at intercellular junctions. We plan to manipulate E-cadherin expression in vitro in hopes that we will be able to understand factors that control its expression. If we are able to do this, perhaps we can prevent the loss of E-cadherin and the progression to metastasis that is so lethal in ovarian cancer.