Augmented serum amyloid A1/2 mediated by TNF-induced NF-κB in human serous ovarian epithelial tumors

Hyeongjwa Choi, Rosa Mistica C. Ignacio, Eun Sook Lee, Andrew J. Wilson, Dineo Khabele, Deok Soo Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF) is well known to be involved in the immune system and ovarian inflammation. Ovarian cancer is an inflammation-related malignancy that lacks early screening strategies, resulting in late diagnosis followed by high mortality. Based on our previous data, TNF induced abundant serum amyloid A (SAA), an acute phase protein linked to inflammation, in ovarian granulosal cells. To date, the regulation and expression of SAA in ovarian cancer is not fully elucidated. Here, we investigated the relationship between TNF and SAA by comparing human normal ovarian tissues and serous ovarian tumors. We found that SAA1/2 was significantly expressed in tumor tissues, but no or trace expression levels in normal tissues. TNF was also significantly upregulated in ovarian tumor tissues compared to normal tissues. Moreover, TNF significantly increased SAA1/2 levels in human ovarian cancer cell lines, OVCAR-3 and SKOV-3, in a time-dependent manner. Since the SAA1 promoter contains two nuclear factor (NF)-kB sites, we examined whether TNF regulates SAA1 promoter activity. Deletion analysis revealed that the proximal NF-kB site (–95/–85) played a critical role in regulating TNF-induced SAA1 promoter activity. Within 2 h after intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide, a product known to stimulate release of TNF, SAA preferably localized to ovarian epithelial cells and the thecal-interstitial layers compared to granulosal cell layers. Based on Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database, SAA1/2 and TNF were dominantly expressed in advanced grade ovarian cancer. Taken together, the accumulation of SAA1/2 in ovarian cancer could be mediated by TNF-induced NF-kB activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalImmune Network
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • NF-kB
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Serum amyloid A
  • Tumor necrosis factor


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