NF-κB-miR-155 axis activation mediates ovulation-induced oncogenic effects in fallopian tube epithelium

Hadar Brand, Georgina D. Barnabas, Stav Sapoznik, Keren Bahar-Shany, Yair Pozniak, Yuval Yung, Ariel Hourvitz, Tamar Geiger, Jasmine Jacob-Hirsch, Keren Levanon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells (FTSECs) are the cell-of-origin of most high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas (HGSOC). FTSECs are repeatedly exposed to inflammation induced by follicular fluid (FF) that is released with every ovulation cycle throughout a woman's reproductive years. Uninterrupted ovulation cycles are an established risk factor for HGSOC. Stimuli present in the FF induce an inflammatory environment which may cause DNA damage eventually leading to serous tumorigenesis. With the aim of elucidating possible mechanistic pathways, we established an 'ex vivo persistent ovulation model' mimicking the repeated exposure of human benign fallopian tube epithelium (FTE) to FF. We performed mass spectrometry analysis of the secretome of the ex vivo cultures as well as confirmatory targeted expressional and functional analyses. We demonstrated activation of the NF-κB pathway and upregulation of miR-155 following short-term exposure of FTE to human FF. Increased expression of miR-155 was also detected in primary HGSOC tumors compared with benign primary human FTE and corresponded with changes in the expression of miR-155 target genes. The phenotype of miR-155 overexpression in FTSEC cell line is of increased migratory and altered adhesion capacities. Overall, activation of the NF-κB-miR-155 axis in FTE may represent a possible link between ovulation-induced inflammation, DNA damage, and transcriptional changes that may eventually lead to serious carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1703-1712
Number of pages10
Issue number12
Early online date2 Jul 2020
StatePublished - Dec 2020


FundersFunder number
Chaim Sheba Medical Center Talpiot Medical Leadership
Israel Cancer Research Fund
Israel Cancer Association
Israel Science Foundation1104/17


    Dive into the research topics of 'NF-κB-miR-155 axis activation mediates ovulation-induced oncogenic effects in fallopian tube epithelium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this