1 Stephenson Cancer Center, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.
2 Department of Cell Biology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.
3 Laboratory of Molecular Pathology and NanoBioImaging, Department of Health Sciences, Università del Piemonte Orientale, 28100 Novara, Italy.
4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cancer Research Institute, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Korea.
Biomolecules. 2021 Aug 14;11(8):1211. doi: 10.3390/biom11081211.
Increased expression of GNAi2, which encodes the α-subunit of G-protein i2, has been correlated with the late-stage progression of ovarian cancer. GNAi2, also referred to as the proto-oncogene gip2, transduces signals from lysophosphatidic acid (LPA)-activated LPA-receptors to oncogenic cellular responses in ovarian cancer cells. To identify the oncogenic program activated by gip2, we carried out micro-array-based transcriptomic and bioinformatic analyses using the ovarian cancer cell-line SKOV3, in which the expression of GNAi2/gip2 was silenced by specific shRNA. A cut-off value of 5-fold change in gene expression (p < 0.05) indicated that a total of 264 genes were dependent upon gip2-expression with 136 genes coding for functional proteins. Functional annotation of the transcriptome indicated the hitherto unknown role of gip2 in stimulating the expression of oncogenic/growth-promoting genes such as KDR/VEGFR2, CCL20, and VIP. The array results were further validated in a panel of High-Grade Serous Ovarian Carcinoma (HGSOC) cell lines that included Kuramochi, OVCAR3, and OVCAR8 cells. Gene set enrichment analyses using DAVID, STRING, and Cytoscape applications indicated the potential role of the gip2-stimulated transcriptomic network involved in the upregulation of cell proliferation, adhesion, migration, cellular metabolism, and therapy resistance. The results unravel a multi-modular network in which the hub and bottleneck nodes are defined by ACKR3/CXCR7, IL6, VEGFA, CYCS, COX5B, UQCRC1, UQCRFS1, and FYN. The identification of these genes as the critical nodes in GNAi2/gip2 orchestrated onco-transcriptome establishes their role in ovarian cancer pathophysiology. In addition, these results also point to these nodes as potential targets for novel therapeutic strategies.
Keywords: GNAi2; bio-informatics; gene expression; gip2; ovarian cancer; transcriptome.