Expression patterns of vascular endothelial growth factor and thrombospondin in human epithelial ovarian cancer
This study investigates the expression patterns of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and Thrombospondin (TSP) families of proteins in human epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Characterization of these proteins will provide an important contribution to understanding of EOC progression as they represent a pair of pro and anti-angiogenic growth factors that have previously demonstrated a novel, inverse pattern of expression to one another. These proteins and their family members help regulate the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the developing tumour and thus establishing their relationship and relative expression patterns across the clinical stages of EOC development could provide critical insight into the mechanisms by which EOC can be controlled. In this study we demonstrate that the inverse expression pattern of secreted VEGF and TSP previously characterized in the mouse is conserved in human EOC cell lines. We also demonstrated that there is marked variability of expression of these proteins both at the mRNA and protein levels in human tissues. Patient tumour RNA was used to demonstrate the variation in transcript expression between stages in tumour development and tissue arrays were used to establish protein expression patterns within tumour pathologies and between tumour stages. As a result it has been established that VEGF and TSP demonstrate a diverse pattern of expression within EOC and that utilization of these proteins as therapeutic targets will likely require assessment of individual status to most effectively utilize treatments.