Clinical and Translational Oncology

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 491–499 | Cite as

High expression of HO-1 predicts poor prognosis of ovarian cancer patients and promotes proliferation and aggressiveness of ovarian cancer cells

  • Z. Zhao
  • Y. Xu
  • J. Lu
  • J. Xue
  • P. Liu
Research Article



HO-1 has been proved to be associated with tumor aggressivity and poor prognosis in various cancers. Our study provides the first study to demonstrate the relationship of HO-1 expression and clinical characteristics in ovarian cancer patients.


Immunohistochemistry and western blotting were used to examine the expression of HO-1 in tissue species and fresh tissues. CCK-8 was used to investigate cell viability. Transwell chamber was performed to estimate migration and invasion capacities in A2780 and Skov-3 cells.


Immunohistochemistry and western blotting showed that the expression of HO-1 was higher in ovarian cancer tissues than normal ovarian tissues. High expression of HO-1 was significantly associated with serous ovarian cancer, high FIGO stage, lymph node metastasis, and non-optimal debulking. Patients with high expression of HO-1 exhibited an unfavorable prognosis. In vitro inducing the expression of HO-1 promoted the proliferation and metastasis of A2780 and Skov-3 cells, with the increased expressions of mesenchymal marker (Vimentin), epithelial–mesenchymal transition-associated transcript factor (Zeb-1), anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2), and the decreased expressions of epithelial marker (Keratin) and pro-apoptotic protein (Bax). Meanwhile, after incubating A2780 and Skov-3 together with HO-1 inhibitor, above results could be reversed.


HO-1 might be a potential marker for prediction of ovarian cancer prognosis and a target for ovarian cancer treatment.


HO-1 Ovarian cancer Metastasis Prognosis 



This work was supported by grants from the Development and Reform commission Project of Shandong Province (26010104081103).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared that no conflict of interest exists.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethical approval

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Federación de Sociedades Españolas de Oncología (FESEO) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyQilu Hospital of Shandong UniversityJinanPeople’s Republic of China

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