Regulation of lineage-restricted transcription factors has been shown to influence malignant transformation in several types of cancer. Whether similar mechanisms are involved in ovarian cancer pathogenesis is unknown. PAX8 is a nuclear transcription factor that controls the embryologic development of the Müllerian system, including the fallopian tubes. Recent studies have shown that fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells (FTSECs) give rise to the most common form of ovarian cancer, high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas (HGSOCs). We designed the present study in order to understand whether changes in gene expression between FTSECs and HGSOCs relate to alterations in PAX8 binding to chromatin. Using whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing (RNA-Seq) after PAX8 knockdown and ChIP-Seq, we show that FTSECs and HGSOCs are distinguished by marked reprogramming of the PAX8 cistrome. Genes that are significantly altered between FTSECs and HGSOCs are enriched near PAX8 binding sites. These sites are also near TEAD binding sites, and these transcriptional changes may be related to PAX8 interactions with the TEAD/YAP1 signaling pathway. These data suggest that transcriptional changes after transformation in ovarian cancer are closely related to epigenetic remodeling in lineage-specific transcription factors.
Kevin M. Elias, Megan M. Emori, Thomas Westerling, Henry Long, Anna Budina-Kolomets, Fugen Li, Emily MacDuffie, Michelle R. Davis, Alexander Holman, Brian Lawney, Matthew L. Freedman, John Quackenbush, Myles Brown, Ronny Drapkin