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Integrated Molecular Profiling Studies to Characterize the Cellular Origins of High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer

By Kate Lawrenson, Marcos A.S. Fonseca, Felipe Segato, Janet M. Lee, Rosario I. Corona, Ji-Heui Seo, Simon Coetzee, Yvonne G Lin, Tanja Pejovic, Paulette Mhawech-Fauceglia, Ronny Drapkin, Beth Y Karlan, Dennis J. Hazelett, Matthew L Freedman, Simon A Gayther, Houtan Noushmehr

Posted 25 May 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/330597

Historically, high-grade serous ovarian cancers (HGSOCs) were thought to arise from ovarian surface epithelial cells (OSECs) but recent data implicate fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells (FTSECs) as the major precursor. We performed transcriptomic and epigenomic profiling to characterize molecular similarities between OSECs, FTSECs and HGSOCs. Transcriptomic signatures of FTSECs were preserved in most HGSOCs reinforcing FTSECs as the predominant cell-of-origin; though an OSEC-like signature was associated with increased chemosensitivity (Padj = 0.03) and was enriched in proliferative-type tumors, suggesting a dualistic model for HGSOC origins. More super-enhancers (SEs) were shared between FTSECs and HGSOCs than between OSECS and HGSOCs (P < 2.2 x 10-16). SOX18, ELF3 and EHF transcription factors (TFs) coincided with HGSOC SEs and represent putative novel drivers of tumor development. Our integrative analyses support a predominantly fallopian origin for HGSOCs and indicate tumorigenesis may be driven by different TFs according to cell-of-origin.

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