Adhesion to and clearance of the mesothelial monolayer are key early events in metastatic seeding of ovarian cancer. ROR2 is a receptor tyrosine kinase that interacts with Wnt5a ligand to activate noncanonical Wnt signaling and has been previously shown to be upregulated in ovarian cancer tissue. However, no prior study has evaluated the mechanistic role of ROR2 in ovarian cancer. Through a cellular high-throughput genetic screen, we independently identified ROR2 as a driver of ovarian tumor cell adhesion and invasion. ROR2 expression in ovarian tumor cells serves to drive directed cell migration preferentially toward areas of high Wnt5a ligand, such as the mesothelial lined omentum. In addition, ROR2 promotes ovarian tumor cell adhesion and clearance of a mesothelial monolayer. Depletion of ROR2, in tumor cells, reduces metastatic tumor burden in a syngeneic model of ovarian cancer. These findings support the role of ROR2 in ovarian tumor cells as a critical factor contributing to the early steps of metastasis. Therapeutic targeting of the ROR2/Wnt5a signaling axis could provide a means of improving treatment for patients with advanced ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-507
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2024


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