Oxidative stress contributes to hepatocyte growth factor-dependent pro-senescence activity of ovarian cancer cells

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Abstract

The cancer-promoting activity of senescent peritoneal mesothelial cells (HPMCs) has already been well evidenced both in vitro and in vivo. Here we sought to determine if ovarian cancer cells may activate senescence in HPMCs. The study showed that conditioned medium (CM) from ovarian cancer cells (OVCAR-3, SKOV-3, A2780) inhibited growth and promoted the development of senescence phenotype (increased SA-β-Gal, γ-H2A.X, 53BP1, and decreased Cx43) in HPMCs. An analysis of tumors isolated from the peritoneum of patients with ovarian cancer revealed an abundance of senescent HPMCs in proximity to cancerous tissue. The presence of senescent HPMCs was incidental when fragments of peritoneum free from cancer were evaluated. An analysis of the cells’ secretome followed by intervention studies with exogenous proteins and neutralizing antibodies revealed hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) as the mediator of the pro-senescence impact of the cancer cells. The activity of cancerous CM and HGF was associated with an induction of mitochondrial oxidative stress. Signaling pathways involved in the senescence of HPMCs elicited by the cancer-derived CM and HGF included p38 MAPK, AKT and NF-κB. HPMCs that senesced prematurely in response to the cancer-derived CM promoted adhesion of ovarian cancer cells, however this effect was effectively prevented by the cell protection against oxidative stress. Collectively, our findings indicate that ovarian cancer cells can elicit HGF-dependent senescence in HPMCs, which may contribute to the formation of a metastatic niche for these cells within the peritoneal cavity.

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