Targeting eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase suppresses the growth and peritoneal metastasis of ovarian cancer

Mumin Alper Erdogan, Ahmed Ashour, Erkan Yuca, Kivanc Gorgulu, Bulent Ozpolat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Ovarian cancer (OC) is the deadliest gynecological cancer and is currently incurable with standard treatment regimens. Early invasion, intraperitoneal metastasis, and an aggressive course are the hallmarks of OC. The major reason for poor prognosis is a lack of molecular targets and highly effective targeted therapies. Therefore, identification of novel molecular targets and therapeutic strategies is urgently needed to improve OC survival. Herein we report that eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase (EF2K) is highly upregulated in primary and drug-resistant OC cells and its expresssion associated with progression free survival TCGA database) and promotes cell proliferation, survival, and invasion. Downregulation of EF2K reduced expression of integrin β1 and cyclin D1 and the activity of the Src, phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT, and nuclear factor-κB signaling pathways. Also, in vivo, therapeutic targeting of EF2K by using single-lipid nanoparticles containing siRNA led to substantial inhibition of ovarian tumor growth and peritoneal metastasis in nude mouse models. Furthermore, EF2K inhibition led to robust apoptosis and markedly reduced intratumoral proliferation in vivo in ovarian tumor xenografts and intraperitoneal metastatic models. Collectively, our data suggest for the first time that EF2K plays an important role in OC growth, metastasis, and progression and may serve as a novel therapeutic target in OCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109938
JournalCellular Signalling
StatePublished - May 2021


  • AKT
  • Animal model
  • Apoptosis
  • EF2K
  • Eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase
  • Integrin
  • Invasion
  • Liposomes
  • Metastasis
  • Migration
  • Motility
  • NF-κB
  • Oncogene
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Proliferation
  • Src
  • eEF-2 K
  • eEF2 kinase
  • eEF2K
  • siRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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