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Origin of aggressive ovarian cancer discovered
Date:3/6/2013

marker for stem cells, called ALDH1. They then isolated ALDH1 positive cells, sequenced their genetic profiles and found many markers previously reported for stem cells in other organs.

One of these markers, LGR5, has been studied for intestinal stem cells by other researchers who have bred special mice and developed an advanced method that uses a fluorescent protein to follow stem cells. The gene encoding the fluorescent protein is passed down from a stem cell to each generation of daughter cells, thereby marking the lineage. The technique "allows you to see the fate of stem cells over time," said Nikitin. Using the method on the hilum cells, "we showed that cells from the hilum area spread around the whole ovary."

Finally, the researchers microdissected ovary and hilum cells, inactivated two tumor suppressor genes p53 and Rb1, whose pathways are commonly altered in human aggressive ovarian carcinoma, and injected cells into the abdominal cavity of mice. Very few tumors developed in the mice injected with ovary cells, but almost all of the mice injected with hilum cells died after developing aggressive, metastasizing cancers that were similar to human ovarian carcinomas.

In future work, the researchers will look for stem cells and sources of cancer in transitional zones in the human ovary and other organs, such as the stomach, rectum and uterine cervix.


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Contact: Joe Schwartz
bjs54@cornell.edu
607-254-6235
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

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