Objective: Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (CCC) is well known to be highly resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy. Glypican-3 (GPC3), a membrane-bound heparan sulfate proteoglycan, is overexpressed in only CCC of epithelial ovarian carcinoma subtypes. The purpose of this study was to identify the role of GPC3 in ovarian CCC. Methods: To evaluate the function of GPC3 in ovarian CCC cells, we generated an ovarian cancer cell line, KOC7C cells stably transfected with plasmids encompassing shRNA targeting GPC3 (shGPC cells), and compared cell growth and the colony-forming ability to control shRNA-transfected cells (shCon cells). Results: We showed that shGPC3 cells significantly increased cell growth and the colony-forming potential compared with shCon cells in 1% serum containing medium with 100 ng/ml IGF-II. Furthermore, these effects were significantly attenuated by pretreatment with 1 μM wortmannin (an inhibitor of PI3K/Akt). Conclusions: We have demonstrated for the first time the presence of elevated levels of GPC3 protein associated with cell growth inhibition in CCC cells. Our data suggest that GPC3 has the potential to become a novel therapeutic target for ovarian CCC patients.
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