Four and a half lim domains 2 (FHL2) contribute to the epithelial ovarian cancer carcinogenesis

Chen Wang, Xiangmin Lv, Chunbo He, John S. Davis, Cheng Wang, Guohua Hua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is one of the most lethal gynecologic malignancies. To date, the etiology of this deadly disease remains elusive. FHL2, a member of the four and a half LIM domain family, has been shown to serve either as an oncoprotein or as a tumor suppressor in various cancers. Our previous study showed that FHL2 plays a critical role in the initiation and progression of ovarian granulosa cell tumor via regulating AKT1 transcription. However, direct and systematic evidence of FHL2 in the initiation and progression of EOC remains unclear. In the present study, immunohistochemical analysis from EOC patient tissues showed that positivity and intensity of FHL2 immunosignal were up-regulated in the EOC tissues compared with normal ovary tissues. Knockdown of FHL2 in SKOV-3 cell line reduced cell growth and cell viability, blocked cell cycle progression, and inhibited cell migration. Ectopic expression of FHL2 in IGROV-1 cells which have low endogenous FHL2, promoted cell growth, improved cell viability and enhanced cell migration. Additionally, knock down of FHL2 in the SKOV-3 cell line significantly inhibited anchorage-independent growth indicated by the soft agar assay. In comparison, overexpression of FHL2 in IGROV-1 cell improved the colonies growth in soft agar. Western blot data showed that knockdown of FHL2 downregulated AKT expression level, and upregulated apoptosis related proteins such as cleaved PARP, and cleaved-lamin A. Finally, by employing stable SKOV-3/FHL2 stable knock down cell line, our data clearly showed that knockdown of FHL2 inhibited EOC xenograft initiation in vivo. Taken together, our results showed that FHL2, via regulating cell proliferation, cell cycle, and adhesion, has a critical role in regulating EOC initiation and progression. These results indicate that FHL2 could be a potential target for the therapeutic drugs against EOC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7751
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2 2020


  • Cell cycle
  • Cell growth
  • Epithelial ovarian cancer
  • FHL2
  • Xenograft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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