Expression of Wnt gene family and frizzled receptors in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas
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Genes of the Wnt and Frizzled class, expressed in HNSCC tissue and cell lines, have an established role in cell morphogenesis and differentiation, and also they have oncogenic properties. We studied Wnt and Fz genes as potential tumor-associated markers in HNSCC by qPCR. Expression levels of Wnt and Fz genes in 22 unique frozen samples from HNSCC were measured. We also assessed possible correlation between the expression levels obtained in cancer samples in relation to clinicopathologic outcome. Wnt-1 was not expressed in the majority of the HNSCC studied, whereas Wnt-5A was the most strongly expressed by the malignant tumors. Wnt-10B expression levels were related with higher grade of undifferentiation. Related to Fz genes, Fz-5 showed more expression levels in no-affectation of regional lymph nodes. Kaplan–Meier survival analyses suggest a reduced time of survival for low and high expression of Wnt-7A and Fz-5 mRNA, respectively. qPCR demonstrated that HNSCC express Wnt and Fz members, and suggested that Wnt and Fz signaling is activated in HNSCC cells.