Association among vitamin D, retinoic acid-related orphan receptors, and vitamin d hydroxyderivatives in ovarian cancer

Anna A. Brożyna, Tae Kang Kim, Marzena Zabłocka, Wojciech Jóźwicki, Junming Yue, Robert C. Tuckey, Anton M. Jetten, Andrzej T. Slominski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Vitamin D and its derivatives, acting via the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and retinoic acid-related orphan receptors γ and α (RORγ and RORα), show anticancer properties. Since pathological conditions are characterized by disturbances in the expression of these receptors, in this study, we investigated their expression in ovarian cancers (OCs), as well as explored the phenotypic effects of vitamin D hydroxyderivatives and RORγ/α agonists on OC cells. The VDR and RORγ showed both a nuclear and a cytoplasmic location, and their expression levels were found to be reduced in the primary and metastatic OCs in comparison to normal ovarian epithelium, as well as correlated to the tumor grade. This reduction in VDR and RORγ expression correlated with a shorter overall disease-free survival. VDR, RORγ, and RORα were also detected in SKOV-3 and OVCAR-3 cell lines with increased expression in the latter line. 20-Hydroxy-lumisterol3 (20(OH)L3) and synthetic RORα/RORγ agonist SR1078 inhibited proliferation only in the OVCAR-3 line, while 20-hydroxyvitamin-D3 (20(OH)D3) only inhibited SKOV-3 cell proliferation. 1,25(OH)2 D3, 20(OH)L3, and SR1078, but not 20(OH)D3, inhibited spheroid formation in SKOV-3 cells. In summary, decreases in VDR, RORγ, and RORα expression correlated with an unfavorable outcome for OC, and compounds targeting these receptors had a context-dependent anti-tumor activity in vitro. We conclude that VDR and RORγ expression can be used in the diagnosis and prognosis of OC and suggest their ligands as potential candidates for OC therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3541
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


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