Molecular insights into the transcriptional regulatory role of thyroid hormones in ovarian cancer

Elena Shinderman-Maman, Chen Weingarten, Dotan Moskovich, Haim Werner, Aleck Hercbergs, Paul J. Davis, Martin Ellis, Osnat Ashur-Fabian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The regulation of cancer-relevant genes by the thyroid hormones, 3, 5, 3′-Triiodo-L-thyronine (T3) and L-thyroxine (T4), was recently acknowledged. However, limited data exists on the hormonal effects on gene expression in ovarian cancer, a gynecological malignancy associated with a low cure rate. The expression of fifteen genes involved in DNA repair, cell cycle, apoptosis, and tumor suppression was evaluated in OVCAR-3 and A2780 cell lines, using real-time PCR following short incubation with T3 (1 nM) or T4 (100 nM). The thyroid hormones downregulated the expression of the majority of genes examined. Support for the involvement of the MAPK and PI3K in thyroid hormone-mediated gene expression was shown for a set of genes. FAS expression was inhibited in A2780 cells, while an unexpected induction was demonstrated in OVCAR-3 cells. An analogous effect on the protein levels of FAS receptor and its soluble form was demonstrated by Western blotting. We further established, using primer sets that discriminate between the different RNA isoforms, that the hormones increase the mRNA levels of both coding and non-coding FAS mRNAs. The prevalence of these isoforms, using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) analysis, was significantly more abundant in 17 cancer types, including ovarian cancer, compared to normal tissues. Our results highlight the role of thyroid hormones in the expression of cancer-relevant-genes in ovarian cancer and provide an important insight into the pathways by which mitogenic and anti-apoptotic effects are exerted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • gene expression
  • ovarian cancer
  • thyroid hormone


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