Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic cancer. Despite recent advances, clinical outcomes remain poor, necessitating novel therapeutic approaches. To investigate metabolic susceptibility, we performed nutrigenetic screens on a panel of clear cell and serous ovarian cancer cells and identified cystine addiction and vulnerability to ferroptosis, a novel form of regulated cell death. Our results may have therapeutic potential, but little is known about the determinants of ferroptosis susceptibility in ovarian cancer. We found that vulnerability to ferroptosis in ovarian cancer cells is enhanced by lower cell confluency. Because the Hippo pathway effectors Yes-associated protein (YAP)/transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) are recognized as sensors of cell density, and TAZ is the predominant effector in the tested ovarian cancer cell lines, we investigated the role of TAZ in ferroptosis of ovarian cancer. TAZ removal confers ferroptosis resistance, while TAZS89A overexpression sensitizes cells to ferroptosis. In addition, we found that lower TAZ level in chemo-resistant recurrent ovarian cancer is responsible for reduced ferroptosis susceptibility. The integrative genomic analysis identified ANGPTL4 as a direct TAZ-regulated target gene that sensitizes ferroptosis by activating NOX2. Collectively, cell density–regulated ferroptosis in ovarian cancer is mediated by TAZ through the regulation of the ANGPTL4–NOX2 axis, suggesting therapeutic potentials for ovarian cancers and other TAZ-activated tumors. Implications: This study reveals that TAZ promotes ferroptosis in ovarian cancers by regulating ANGPTL4 and NOX, offering a novel therapeutic potential for ovarian tumors with TAZ activation. Footnotes Mol Cancer Res 2020;18:79–90 Received July 4, 2019. Revision received September 17, 2019. Accepted October 17, 2019. Published first October 22, 2019. ©2019 American Association for Cancer Research. Log in using your username and password Username * Forgot your user name or password? Purchase access You may purchase access to this article. This will require you to create an account if you don't.
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