The POTE family includes 14 genes in three phylogenetic groups. We determined POTE mRNA expression in normal tissues, epithelial ovarian and high-grade serous ovarian cancer (EOC, HGSC), and pan-cancer, and determined the relationship of POTE expression to ovarian cancer clinicopathology. Groups 1 & 2 POTEs showed testis-specific expression in normal tissues, consistent with assignment as cancer-testis antigens (CTAs), while Group 3 POTEs were expressed in several normal tissues, indicating they are not CTAs. Pan-POTE and individual POTEs showed significantly elevated expression in EOC and HGSC compared to normal controls. Pan-POTE correlated with increased stage, grade, and the HGSC subtype. Select individual POTEs showed increased expression in recurrent HGSC, and POTEE specifically associated with reduced HGSC OS. Consistent with tumors, EOC cell lines had significantly elevated Pan-POTE compared to OSE and FTE cells. Notably, Group 1 & 2 POTEs (POTEs A/B/B2/C/D), Group 3 POTE-actin genes (POTEs E/F/I/J/KP), and other Group 3 POTEs (POTEs G/H/M) show within-group correlated expression, and pan-cancer analyses of tumors and cell lines confirmed this relationship. Based on their restricted expression in normal tissues and increased expression and association with poor prognosis in ovarian cancer, POTEs are potential oncogenes and therapeutic targets in this malignancy.
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