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Expression of the RNA-binding protein RBM3 is associated with a favourable prognosis and cisplatin sensitivity in epithelial ovarian cancer

Åsa Ehlén1, Donal J Brennan2, Björn Nodin1, Darran P O'Connor2, Jakob Eberhard3, Maria Alvarado-Kristensson1, Ian B Jeffrey4, Jonas Manjer56, Jenny Brändstedt1, Mathias Uhlén7, Fredrik Pontén8 and Karin Jirström1*

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Molecular Pathology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden

2 UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, UCD Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

3 Division of Oncology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden

4 School of Medicine and Medical Science, Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

5 Division of Surgery, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden

6 The Malmö Diet and Cancer Study, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden

7 Department of Biotechnology, AlbaNova University Center, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

8 Department of Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2010, 8:78  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-8-78

Published: 20 August 2010

Abstract

Background

We recently demonstrated that increased expression of the RNA-binding protein RBM3 is associated with a favourable prognosis in breast cancer. The aim of this study was to examine the prognostic value of RBM3 mRNA and protein expression in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and the cisplatin response upon RBM3 depletion in a cisplatin-sensitive ovarian cancer cell line.

Methods

RBM3 mRNA expression was analysed in tumors from a cohort of 267 EOC cases (Cohort I) and RBM3 protein expression was analysed using immunohistochemistry (IHC) in an independent cohort of 154 prospectively collected EOC cases (Cohort II). Kaplan Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards modelling were applied to assess the relationship between RBM3 and recurrence free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS). Immunoblotting and IHC were used to examine the expression of RBM3 in a cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cell line A2780-Cp70 and its cisplatin-responsive parental cell line A2780. The impact of RBM3 on cisplatin response in EOC was assessed using siRNA-mediated silencing of RBM3 in A2780 cells followed by cell viability assay and cell cycle analysis.

Results

Increased RBM3 mRNA expression was associated with a prolonged RFS (HR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.47-0.86, p = 0.003) and OS (HR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.44-0.95, p = 0.024) in Cohort I. Multivariate analysis confirmed that RBM3 mRNA expression was an independent predictor of a prolonged RFS, (HR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.44-0.84, p = 0.003) and OS (HR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.41-0.95; p = 0.028) in Cohort I. In Cohort II, RBM3 protein expression was associated with a prolonged OS (HR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.35-0.79, p = 0.002) confirmed by multivariate analysis (HR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.40-0.92, p = 0.017). RBM3 mRNA and protein expression levels were significantly higher in the cisplatin sensitive A2780 cell line compared to the cisplatin resistant A2780-Cp70 derivative. siRNA-mediated silencing of RBM3 expression in the A2780 cells resulted in a decreased sensitivity to cisplatin as demonstrated by increased cell viability and reduced proportion of cells arrested in the G2/M-phase.

Conclusions

These data demonstrate that RBM3 expression is associated with cisplatin sensitivity in vitro and with a good prognosis in EOC. Taken together these findings suggest that RBM3 may be a useful prognostic and treatment predictive marker in EOC.