Gli affects the stemness and prognosis of epithelial ovarian cancer via homeobox protein NANOG

Gli proteins are key transcription factors of the Hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway, which is associated with tumorigenesis and drug resistance. However, the role of the HH signaling pathway in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) remains unclear. Studies have demonstrated that in some tumors, homeobox protein NANOG (NANOG), a known stem cell marker, is a downstream effector of Gli. However, limited research has been conducted on the association between Gli and NANOG in EOC, particularly regarding their roles in the tumor stemness, such as tumor development, drug resistance and patient prognosis. Thus, the aim of the present study was to explore the aforementioned issues. In this study, Gli1, Gli2 and NANOG expression in EOC tissues was assessed using immunohistochemistry. Gene expression was also assessed using western blotting and reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR in SKOV3 cells treated with a Gli inhibitor and an HH agonist. Furthermore, cell proliferation, colony‑forming ability and cisplatin sensitivity were assessed using Cell Counting Kit‑8 and colony formation assays. The results showed that both Gli1 and NANOG were associated with cisplatin resistance and EOC disease stage, while the nuclear expression of Gli2 was significantly associated with cisplatin resistance. Together, the expression of Gli and NANOG predicted poor patient prognosis. Targeting Gli with GANT61 impeded tumor proliferation, reversed cisplatin resistance and colony formation, and reduced NANOG expression. To conclude, Gli and NANOG may be effective indicators of platinum resistance and prognosis in EOC. Targeting Gli may reduce the stemness of ovarian cancer cell, which may be achieved via indirect targeting of NANOG.

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S8075 GANT61 GANT61 (NSC 136476) is an inhibitor for GLI1 as well as GLI2-induced transcription, inhibits hedgehog with IC50 of 5 μM in GLI1 expressing HEK293T cell, displays selectivity over other pathways, such as TNF and glucocorticoid receptor gene transactivation. GANT61 induces apoptosis and activates protective autophagy in LX-2 cells.

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Apoptosis related Autophagy Hedgehog/Smoothened