Messenger RNA Decay of Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor in Hum a n Ovarian Carcinomas in Vitro

Setsuko K. Chambers, Barry M. Kacinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Recently, the importance of the macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF-1) and its receptor (encoded by the c-fms proto-oncogene) in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer has been recognized. Overexpression of CSF-1 denotes poor prognosis. Macrophage colony- stimulating factor may be one of a group of inflammatory cytokines, whose 3' untranslated region (UTR) contains AU-rich stretches and whose expression may be largely dependent on mRNA decay. The purposes of this study were to investigate the effect of protein synthesis inhibition on CSF-1 transcript expression, to help determine whether there is a role for labile intermediary proteins in the regulation of CSF-1 expression, and to explore the transcriptional or post transcriptional mechanisms that could underlie such overexpression of CSF-1 transcripts by protein synthesis inhibitors. Although regulation of CSF-1 gene expression has been investigated in hematopoietic cells, such studies have not been carried out in any epithelial cancer. METHODS: Northern blot analyses for CSF-1 expression were performed on total cellular RNA extracted from primary and established ovarian cancer cell lines in the absence or presence of protein synthesis inhibitors with different modes of action. The probe for the AU-rich exon 10 of CSF-1 was prepared by amplification of the terminal 143 bp of the 3' UTR of human CSF-1 by polymerase chain reaction. Transcription rates were assessed in the presence or absence of cycloheximide (CH) in nuclei of ovarian cancer cells by run-off analyses. The effect of CH on CSF-1 mRNA half-life was measured by actinomycin D chase experiments in SKOV3 cells. RESULTS: We demonstrate that CSF-1 mRNA was expressed by all of a panel ofprimary and established ovarian cancer cell lines. There are at least three CSF-1 transcripts expressed by ovarian cancer cells; we demonstrate that the 4.2-kb CSF-1 transcript contains exon-6 sequences, which are spliced from the 3.4- and 1.9-kb transcripts, whereas both the 4.2- and 3.4-kb CSF-1 transcripts contain the 3' AU-rich exon 10. Treatment with several different protein synthesis inhibitors resulted in marked overexpression of CSF-1 transcript levels, suggesting a potential role for labile proteins in the regulation of CSF-1 expression. The predominant effect of CH is on the two CSF-1 transcripts that contain exon 10. Although CH does not change the rate of CSF-1 gene transcription, measurement of CSF-1 mRNA stability reveals a prolongation of CSF-1 transcript half-life by CH from 4.5 hours to significantly greater than 6 hours in ovarian cancer cells. CONCLUSIONS: Augmented CSF-1 transcript stability underlies the marked overexpression of CSF-1 seen with protein synthesis inhibitors. Our results suggest the involvement of a labile regulatory protein that contributes to CSF-1 mRNA decay in ovarian cancer cells. Our data suggest further that exon 10 (not the spliced exon-6 sequences) of the CSF-1 transcript may contain an instability determinant. (J Soc Gynecol Invest 1994;1:310-6).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-316
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1994


  • CSF-1
  • cytokine
  • gene expression-regulation
  • mRNA stability
  • ovarian neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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