Little is known about the factors that regulate the asymmetric division of cancer stem-like cells (CSC).Here,we demonstrate that EGFL6, a stem cell regulatory factor expressed in ovarian tumor cells and vasculature, regulates ALDH+ ovarian CSC. EGFL6 signaled at least in part via the oncoprotein SHP2 with concomitant activation of ERK. EGFL6 signaling promoted the migration and asymmetric division of ALDH+ ovarian CSC. As such, EGFL6 increased not only tumor growth but also metastasis. Silencing of EGFL6 or SHP2 limited numbers of ALDH+ cells and reduced tumor growth, supporting a critical role for EGFL6/SHP2 in ALDH+ cell maintenance. Notably, systemic administration of an EGFL6-neutralizing antibody we generated restricted tumor growth and metastasis, specifically blocking ovarian cancer cell recruitment to the ovary. Together, our results offer a preclinical proof of concept for EGFL6 as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Cancer Res; 76(21); 6396-409.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research