Abstract

The mortality rate of ovarian cancer is the highest among gynaecological cancers, primarily due to metastatic symptoms. Recent studies have shown that HOX genes are crucial in tumour progression, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, HOXC10 expression was examined in ovarian cancer tissues. The function of HOXC10 in ovarian cancer metastasis was investigated in vitroand via intraperitoneal injection in vivo. A total of 158 ovarian cancer patients with adequate records were enrolled for analysis. HOXC10 was associated with metastasis and poor prognosis in ovarian cancer. In vitro, HOXC10 overexpression promoted ovarian cancer cell migration. Moreover, HOXC10 positively regulated Slug expression, altering the migration ability of cancer cells. Furthermore, our study showed that miR-222-3p was a suppressor of HOXC10. In vivo, a decrease in hepatic metastasis was seen in xenograft mice harbouring tumours with stable HOXC10 overexpression after miR-222-3p agomir (an overexpression reagent) injection. This study provides the first evidence that HOXC10 promotes ovarian cancer metastasis by regulating the transcription of the EMT-related gene Slug. Moreover, we found that HOXC10 is regulated by miR-222-3p. These data highlight the crucial role of HOXC10 in enhancing ovarian cancer metastasis and may provide a therapeutic target for ovarian cancer.