Gestational choriocarcinoma is a malignant trophoblastic tumor that usually occurs in the uterus after pregnancy. The tumor is curable with advanced chemotherapy, but the molecular mechanism of choriocarcinoma tumorigenesis remains unclear. This is partly because the low incidence makes it difficult to obtain clinical samples for investigation and because an appropriate choriocarcinoma cell model to study the tumorigenesis has not been developed. We have established a new choriocarcinoma cell line, induced choriocarcinoma cell-1 (iC3-1), that possesses unique characteristics compared to other choriocarcinoma cell lines, including production of tumors that consist of the two types of cells commonly found in choriocarcinoma and mimicking of the clinical pathology. Existing trophoblast cell lines utilized in previous choriocarcinoma studies have had significantly dissimilar gene expression profiles. Therefore, it is important to choose an appropriate cell line for a particular study based on the characteristics of the cell line. In this study, to clarify the genetic characteristics of iC3-1 and to explore the tumorigenesis mechanism, we examined the gene profile of iC3-1 compared to those of existing cell lines and normal placental tissue. Bioinformatics analysis showed that several characteristic genes, IGF1R, CHFR, MUC3A, TAF7, PARK7, CDC123 and PSMD8, were significantly upregulated in iC 3-1 compared to BeWo and JEG3 cells. Interestingly, HAS2, CD44 and S100P were significantly upregulated in iC3-1 compared to parental HTR8/SVneo cells and normal third trimester placenta. Choriocarcinoma samples also showed immunoreactivity to HAS2, CD44 and S100. In summary, the gene expression profile of iC3-1 suggests that studies using this cell line can make an important contribution to improved understanding of choriocarcinoma tumorigenesis.
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