Hepatoma derived growth factor (HDGF) dynamics in ovarian cancer cells

Karuna Giri, Christina M. Pabelick, Priyabrata Mukherjee, Y. S. Prakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


As a leading cause of cancer death among women, identification of pathophysiologically-relevant biomarkers for ovarian cancer is important. The heparin binding, hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF) is overexpressed in ovarian cancer cell lines and may have prognostic value, but the mechanism by which this predominantly nuclear protein is secreted or functions is unknown. In this study, we focused on the circumstances under which HDGF is released by cells and the functional relevance of extracellular HDGF in the context of ovarian cancer. Immunofluorescence imaging showed nuclear localization of HDGF in ovarian cells, but unlike what is reported for other cell types, HDGF was minimally secreted into the media. However, HDGF was passively released by necrotic and late apoptotic cells. Extracellular HDGF was functionally relevant as it stimulated phosphorylation of ERK 1/2 and P38 in both non-cancer and ovarian cancer cells, and enhanced cellular migration. Overall, our study uncovers a novel function of HDGF as a messenger of cellular condition (alarmin) which in-turn modulates cellular function-aspects that could be used as a biomarker for ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-339
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016


  • Alarmin
  • Cell death
  • Migration
  • Tumor signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Cancer Research


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