Int J Oncol. 2017 Apr;50(4):1261-1270.

The nerve growth factor alters calreticulin translocation from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cell surface and its signaling pathway in epithelial ovarian cancer cells.

Vera CA1, Oróstica L1, Gabler F2, Ferreira A3, Selman A4, Vega M1, Romero CA1.
1Laboratory of Endocrinology and Reproduction Biology, Clinical Hospital, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
2Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, San Borja Arriarán Clinical Hospital, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
3Program of Immunology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICBM), Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Clinical Hospital, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Ovarian cancer is the seventh most common cancer among women worldwide, causing approximately 120,000 deaths every year. Immunotherapy, designed to boost the body’s natural defenses against cancer, appears to be a promising option against ovarian cancer. Calreticulin (CRT) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident chaperone that, translocated to the cell membrane after ER stress, allows cancer cells to be recognized by the immune system. The nerve growth factor (NGF) is a pro-angiogenic molecule overexpressed in this cancer. In the present study, we aimed to determine weather NGF has an effect in CRT translocation induced by cytotoxic and ER stress. We treated A2780 ovarian cancer cells with NGF, thapsigargin (Tg), an ER stress inducer and mitoxantrone (Mtx), a chemotherapeutic drug; CRT subcellular localization was analyzed by immunofluorescence followed by confocal microscopy. In order to determine NGF effect on Mtx and Tg-induced CRT translocation from the ER to the cell membrane, cells were preincubated with NGF prior to Mtx or Tg treatment and CRT translocation to the cell surface was determined by flow cytometry. In addition, by western blot analyses, we evaluated proteins associated with the CRT translocation pathway, both in A2780 cells and human ovarian samples. We also measured NGF effect on cell apoptosis induced by Mtx. Our results indicate that Mtx and Tg, but not NGF, induce CRT translocation to the cell membrane. NGF, however, inhibited CRT translocation induced by Mtx, while it had no effect on Tg-induced CRT exposure. NGF also diminished cell death induced by Mtx. NGF effect on CRT translocation could have consequences in immunotherapy, potentially lessening the effectiveness of this type of treatment.
PMID: 28260038;