Expression of organic cation transporter SLC22A16 in human epithelial ovarian cancer: A possible role of the adriamycin importer

Kyoko Ota, Kiyoshi Ito, Jun Ichi Akahira, Naoko Sato, Tohru Onogawa, Takuya Moriya, Michiaki Unno, Takaaki Abe, Hitoshi Niikura, Tadao Takano, Nobuo Yaegashi

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The SLC22A16 is one of the newly isolated organic cation transporters, which is responsible for uptake and transport of adriamycin into cells. Adriamycin is considered to be an active agent for ovarian cancer. Recently, the benefit of adding adriamycin to the current standard regimen, paclitaxel and platinum, is evaluated to improve the outcome of patients with ovarian cancer. Therefore, we examined the expression of SLC22A16 in ovarian cancers. Twelve ovarian carcinoma cell lines were used for immunoblotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to confirm the expression of SLC22A16 mRNA and protein. Five normal ovaries, 12 ovarian adenomas, and 94 ovarian cancer cases were obtained from patients after surgical therapy. The specimens were used for immunohistochemistry. The median value of relative SLC22A16 gene expression in cell lines derived from clear-cell adenocarcinoma was significantly higher than that in cell lines from other histologies (P < 0.001). Expression of SLC22A16 protein was also detected in cell lines derived from clear-cell adenocarcinoma. The SLC22A16 immunoreactivity was detected in 15 (16%) of 94 epithelial ovarian cancer, 1 (8.3%) of 12 benign adenomas, but 0 (0%) of 5 normal ovary cases. In ovarian cancer tissues, SLC22A16 immunoreactivity wasdetected in 2 (5%) of 38 serous adenocarcinoma, 1 (6.7%) of 15 endometrioid adenocarcinoma, 0 (0%) of 14 mucinous adenocarcinoma, and 12 (46.2%) of 26 clear-cell adenocarcinoma (P < 0.0001, clear-cell vs other histologies). In conclusion, SLC22A16 was abundantly expressed in clear-cell adenocarcinoma. Our results suggest that adriamycin-related chemicals that are taken up via SLC22A16 may have the potential to be effective against clear-cell adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-340
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul


  • Adriamycin
  • Clear-cell adenocarcinoma
  • Organic cation transporter
  • Ovarian cancer
  • SLC22A16


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