Dickkopf-3 (DKK3), a tumor suppressor, is frequently downregulated in various cancers. However, the role of DKK3 in ovarian cancer has not been evaluated. This study aimed to assess aberrant DKK3 expression and its role in epithelial ovarian carcinoma. DKK3 expression was assessed using immunohistochemistry with tissue blocks from 82 patients with invasive carcinoma, and 15 normal, 19 benign, and 10 borderline tumors as controls. Survival data were analyzed using Kaplan–Meier and Cox regression analysis. Paclitaxel-resistant cells were established using TOV-21G and OV-90 cell lines. Protein expression was assessed using Western blotting and immunoflu-orescence analysis. Cell viability was assessed using the MT assay and 3D-spheroid assay. Cell migration was determined using a migration assay. DKK3 was significantly downregulated in invasive carcinoma compared to that in normal, benign, and borderline tumors. DKK3 loss occurred in 56.1% invasive carcinomas and was significantly associated with disease-free survival and chemo-resistance in serous adenocarcinoma. DKK3 was lost in paclitaxel-resistant cells, while β-catenin and P-glycoprotein were upregulated. Exogenous secreted DKK3, incorporated by cells, enhanced anti-tumoral effect and paclitaxel susceptibility in paclitaxel-resistant cells, and reduced the levels of active β-catenin and its downstream P-glycoprotein, suggesting that DKK3 can be used as a therapeutic for targeting paclitaxel-resistant cancer.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments: This research was supported by the Chung-Ang University Young Scientist Scholarship in 2021, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Korea.
Funding: This study was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) under grant number 2020R1A2C1003536.
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research