Proteotranscriptomics Reveal Signaling Networks in the Ovarian Cancer Microenvironment

  • Worzfeld T
  • Finkernagel F
  • Reinartz S
  • et al.
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© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Ovarian cancer is characterized by early transcoelomic metastatic spread via the peritoneal fluid, where tumor cell spheroids (TU), tumor-associated T cells (TAT), and macrophages (TAM) create a unique microenvironment promoting cancer progression, chemoresistance, and immunosuppression. However, the underlying signaling mechanisms remain largely obscure. To chart these signaling networks, we performed comprehensive proteomic and transcriptomic analyses of TU, TAT, and TAM from ascites of ovarian cancer patients. We identify multiple intercellular signaling pathways driven by protein or lipid mediators that are associated with clinical outcome. Beyond cytokines, chemokines and growth factors, these include proteins of the extracellular matrix, immune checkpoint regulators, complement factors, and a prominent network of axon guidance molecules of the ephrin, semaphorin, and slit families. Intriguingly, both TU and TAM from patients with a predicted short survival selectively produce mediators supporting prometastatic events, including matrix remodeling, stemness, invasion, angiogenesis, and immunosuppression, whereas TAM associated with a longer survival express cytokines linked to effector T-cell chemoattraction and activation. In summary, our study uncovers previously unrecognized signaling networks in the ovarian cancer microenvironment that are of potential clinical relevance. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics.




Worzfeld, T., Finkernagel, F., Reinartz, S., Konzer, A., Adhikary, T., Nist, A., … Müller, R. (2018). Proteotranscriptomics Reveal Signaling Networks in the Ovarian Cancer Microenvironment. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, 17(2), 270–289.

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