The identification of nuclear αvβ3 integrin in ovarian cancer: non-paradigmal localization with cancer promoting actions

Chen Seraya-Bareket, Avivit Weisz, Elena Shinderman-Maman, Sharon Teper-Roth, Dina Stamler, Nissim Arbib, Yfat Kadan, Ami Fishman, Debora Kidron, Evgeny Edelstein, Martin Ellis, Osnat Ashur-Fabian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Nuclear translocation of transmembrane proteins was reported in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), a highly aggressive gynecological malignancy. Although the membrane receptor αvβ3 integrin is amply expressed in HGSOC and involved in disease progression, its nuclear localization was never demonstrated. Nuclear αvβ3 was explored in HGSOC cells (OVCAR3, KURAMOCHI, and JHOS4), nuclear localization signal (NLS) modified β3 OVCAR3, Chinese hamster ovaries (CHO-K1) and human embryonic kidney (HEK293) before/after transfections with β3/β1 integrins. We used the ImageStream technology, Western blots (WB), co immunoprecipitations (Co-IP), confocal immunofluorescence (IF) microscopy, flow cytometry for cell counts and cell cycle, wound healing assays and proteomics analyses. Fresh/archived tumor tissues were collected from nine HGSOC patients and normal ovarian and fallopian tube (FT) tissues from eight nononcological patients and assessed for nuclear αvβ3 by WB, confocal IF microscopy and immunohistochemistry (IHC). We identified nuclear αvβ3 in HGSOC cells and tissues, but not in normal ovaries and FTs. The nuclear integrin was Tyr 759 phosphorylated and functionally active. Nuclear αvβ3 enriched OVCAR3 cells demonstrated induced proliferation and oncogenic signaling, intact colony formation ability and inhibited migration. Proteomics analyses revealed a network of nuclear αvβ3-bound proteins, many of which with key cancer-relevant activities. Identification of atypical nuclear localization of the αvβ3 integrin in HGSOC challenges the prevalent conception that the setting in which this receptor exerts its pleiotropic actions is exclusively at the cell membrane. This discovery proposes αvβ3 moonlighting functions and may improve our understanding of the molecular basis of ovarian cancer pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020


FundersFunder number
Tel-Aviv University
Varda and Boaz Dotan Research Center for Hemato-Oncology Research, Tel Aviv Universitye


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