Increased expression of the RIα subunit of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A is associated with advanced stage ovarian cancer

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The primary element in the cAMP signal transduction pathway is the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). Expression of the RIα subunit of type I PKA is elevated in a variety of human tumours and cancer cell lines. The purpose of this study was to assess the prognostic importance of RIα expression in patients with ovarian cancer. We have evaluated the expression of RIα in a panel of human ovarian tumours (n= 40) and five human ovarian cancer cell lines using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot analysis. The human ovarian cell lines OAW42 and OTN14 express high endogenous levels of RIα mRNA and protein (at significantly higher mRNA levels than high tissue expressors, P< 0.05). The ovarian cell line A2780 expresses low endogenous levels of RIα mRNA and protein (also at higher mRNA levels than low tissue expressors, P< 0.05). Quantitative RT-PCR revealed no significant difference in RIα mRNA expression between different ovarian histological subtypes in this study. No associations were found between RIα mRNA expression and differentiation state. RIα mRNA expression was significantly associated with tumour stage (P= 0.0036), and this remained significant in univariate analysis (P= 0.0002). A trend emerged between RIα mRNA expression levels and overall survival in univariate analysis (P= 0.051), however, by multivariate analysis, stage remained the major determinant of overall survival (P= 0.0001). This study indicates that in ovarian epithelial tumours high RIα mRNA expression is associated with advanced stage disease. RIα expression may be of predictive value in ovarian cancer and may be associated with dysfunctional signalling pathways in this cancer type.

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    This paper was modified 12 months after initial publication to switch to Creative Commons licence terms, as noted at publication


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McDaid, H., Cairns, M., Atkinson, R. et al. Increased expression of the RIα subunit of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A is associated with advanced stage ovarian cancer. Br J Cancer 79, 933–939 (1999) doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6690149

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  • type I-cAMP-dependent protein kinase
  • reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
  • ovarian cancer
  • cAMP

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