Virchows Archiv

, Volume 449, Issue 5, pp 520–528 | Cite as

Expression of E-cadherin transcriptional regulators in ovarian carcinoma

  • Sivan Elloul
  • Ilvars Silins
  • Claes G. Tropé
  • Avi Benshushan
  • Ben Davidson
  • Reuven Reich
Original Article


Unlike most epithelial cancers, E-cadherin expression is upregulated in ovarian carcinoma effusions compared with corresponding primary tumors. In the present study, we analyzed the anatomic site-specific expression of transcription factors that negatively regulate E-cadherin in ovarian carcinoma. Using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, mRNA in situ hybridization, and Western blotting, we analyzed the expression and localization of the Snail, Slug, and SIP1 transcription factors and E-cadherin in 78 effusions, 41 primary carcinomas, and 15 solid metastases. Slug mRNA and protein expression was highest in metastases (p=0.042 and p<0.001, respectively). Snail mRNA was comparable at all anatomic sites, but higher protein expression was found in primary tumors and solid metastases compared with effusions (p<0.001). SIP1 mRNA expression was higher in effusions (p<0.001) compared to other sites. Confocal microscopy analysis of fresh and cultured cells from effusion specimens revealed cytoplasmic localization of the Snail protein in primary tumor cells, with a nuclear shift following culturing of these cells. In conclusion, E-cadherin and its negative regulators show site-dependent expression in ovarian carcinoma. In solid tumors, E-cadherin is negatively regulated by Snail and Slug. In effusions, SIP1 may be the main regulator of E-cadherin, but with a lesser level of suppression compared with primary tumors and solid metastases.


Ovarian carcinoma E-cadherin Transcriptional repressors 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sivan Elloul
    • 1
  • Ilvars Silins
    • 2
  • Claes G. Tropé
    • 2
  • Avi Benshushan
    • 4
  • Ben Davidson
    • 3
  • Reuven Reich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of MedicineThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Gynecologic Oncology, National Hospital–Norwegian Radium HospitalUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Department of Pathology, National Hospital–Norwegian Radium HospitalUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah Medical CenterHebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

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