The effects of HE4 on ovarian cancer progression in danio rerio embryos.
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Ovarian cancer is one of the most lethal cancers in the world. The high lethality is partially caused by the onset of metastasis during cancer progression. HE4 protein, a protein resides on human chromosome 20, is found to be overexpressed in ovarian cancer patients. Based on previous studies using in vitro methods, HE4 may play an important role in promoting cancer progression. Therefore, the following hypothesis was tested in this study: 1) zebrafish embryos injected with ovarian cancer cells that overexpress HE4 will have a lower survival rate, a greater tumor area, and more metastases compared to embryos injected with null-vector control plasmid cancer cells; 2) recombinant HE4 will inhibit the activity of granzyme B, one of the molecules that incudes cell apoptosis in the immune system. HE4-overexpressing cells and null-vector (NV) control cells were injected into zebrafish embryos, followed by imaging of injected embryos 3 and 5 days after injection; a granzyme B inhibition detection kit was also used in this study to study whether HE4 would inhibit granzyme B activity. Based on the result, HE4-overexpressing cells injected embryos showed a lower survival rate, larger tumor size, and developed more metastases compared to NV cells injected embryos, suggesting HE4 may play a role in promoting ovarian cancer progression. Moreover, 1 nM HE4 protein can also inhibit granzyme B activity by 9.37 %.