Obesity and altered angiogenic-related gene expression in endometrial cancer

Lauren Patterson Cobb*, Sharareh Siamakpour-Reihani, Dadong Zhang, Xiaodi Qin, Kouros Owzar, Chunxiao Zhou, Thomas P. Conrads, G. Larry Maxwell, Kathleen M. Darcy, Nicholas W. Bateman, Tracy Litzi, Victoria Bae-Jump, Angeles Alvarez Secord

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: Evaluate association between obesity and angiogenic-related gene expression in endometrial cancer (EC). Evaluate interaction between diet and metformin on angiogenic-related gene expression. Methods: We evaluated the association between 168 human angiogenic-related genes and body mass index (BMI) in the TCGA Uterine Corpus Endometrial Carcinoma cohort (endometrioid endometrial cancer (EEC) cohort n = 290, and copy number high cohort n = 55), an independent validation cohort from Gynecologic Cancer Center of Excellence (GYN-COE) (n = 62) and corresponding 185 homologous mouse genes in an LKB1fl/flp53fl/fl mouse model of EC (n = 20). Mice received 60% of calories from fat in a high-fat diet (HFD), mimicking diet-induced obesity, versus 10% of calories from fat in a low-fat diet (LFD). After tumor growth, HFD (n = 5) and LFD (n = 5) mice were treated with metformin (200 mg/kg/day) or control. Whole transcriptome analysis of mouse tumors was performed using RNA-Seq. Results: At a false-discovery rate of 10%, twenty-one angiogenic-related genes were differentially expressed with respect to BMI when adjusting for grade in the TCGA EEC cohort. Evaluation of these genes in the mouse model control group revealed association between increased Edil3 expression in HFD versus LFD mice (2.5-fold change (FC); unadjusted p = 0.03). An interaction was observed for expression of Edil3 between diet and metformin treatment (unadjusted p = 0.009). Association between BMI and increased expression of EDIL3 was validated in one of four EDIL3 probesets in the GYN-COE cohort (p = 0.0011, adjusted p = 0.0342). Conclusions: Obesity may promote tumor progression via differential modulation of angiogenic pathways in EEC. Our exploratory findings demonstrated that EDIL3 may be a candidate gene of interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-326
Number of pages7
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Gene expression
  • Metformin
  • Obesity


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