Expression of NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase 1 (NQO1) is increased in the endometrium of women with endometrial cancer and women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

William Atiomo, Mohamad Nasir Shafiee, Caroline Chapman, Veronika M Metzler, Jad Abouzeid, Ayse Latif, Amy Chadwick, Sarah Kitson, Vanitha Sivalingam, Ian Stratford, Catrin S Rutland, Jenny Liao Persson, Niels Ødum, Pablo Fuentes-Utrillia, Jennie N Jeyapalan, David M Heery, Emma J. Crosbie, Nigel P. Mongan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective Women with a prior history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk of endometrial cancer (EC). Aim To investigate whether the endometrium of women with PCOS possess gene expression changes similar to those found in EC. Design and Methods Patients with EC, PCOS and control women unaffected by either PCOS or EC were recruited into a cross-sectional study at the Nottingham University Hospital, UK. For RNA sequencing, representative individual endometrial biopsies were obtained from women with EC, PCOS and a woman unaffected by PCOS or EC. Expression of a subset of differentially expressed genes identified by RNA sequencing, including NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase 1 (NQO1), were validated by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR validation (n=76) and in the cancer genome atlas UCEC (uterine corpus endometrioid carcinoma) RNA sequencing dataset (n=381). The expression of NQO1 was validated by immuno-histochemistry in EC samples from a separate cohort (n=91) comprised of consecutive patients who underwent hysterectomy at St Mary's Hospital, Manchester between 2011 and 2013. A further 6 postmenopausal women with histologically normal endometrium who underwent hysterectomy for genital prolapse were also included. Informed consent and local ethics approval was obtained for the study. Results We show for the first that that NQO1 expression is significantly increased in the endometrium of women with PCOS and EC. Immunohistochemistry confirms significantly increased NQO1 protein expression in EC relative to non-malignant endometrial tissue (p<0.0001). Conclusions The results obtained here support a previously unrecognized molecular link between PCOS and EC involving NQO1.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-565
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number5
Early online date27 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2017


  • Endometrial cancer
  • Endometrium
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • NQO1


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