Steroidogenic acute protein (StAR), P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc) and 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzyme (3β-HSD) are all involved in the transport of cholesterol and production of progesterone. In situ production of sex steroids including progesterone have been considered to play important roles in pathogenesis and/or development of common epithelial ovarian carcinomas. In this study, StAR, P450scc, and 3β-HSD were immuno-localized in 100 cases of ovarian carcinoma and results were then correlated with clinicopathological and prognostic parameters of individual patients including status of progesterone receptor (PR) in tumor cells. Results of immunohistochemistry were further characterized by real-time PCR analysis in 20 cases of epithelial ovarian carcinomas in which frozen tissues were available for examination. StAR, P450scc, and 3β-HSD immunoreactivity was detected predominately in the cytoplasm of carcinoma cells. Results of real-time PCR analysis were correlated with those of immunohistochemical studies. StAR, P450scc, and 3β-HSD H scores demonstrated significant inversed statistical correlation with FIGO stage, residual size of the tumor, and Ki67 LI. A positive statistically significant correlation was detected between StAR H score and PR-B LI. Multivariate statistical analysis demonstrated that the status of intratumoral StAR, FIGO stage, and residual tumor size all turned out to be independent prognostic factors for the clinical outcome of the patient. The presence of StAR, a cholesterol transporter for steroidogenesis in human epithelial ovarian carcinoma, may reflect the ability of these tumors to produce progesterone in situ that could influence biological behavior of these tumors, especially through progesterone dependent inhibition of tumor cell proliferation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research