Medical Oncology

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 377–384 | Cite as

Nitrative and oxidative DNA damage as potential survival biomarkers for nasopharyngeal carcinoma

  • Yuan-Jiao Huang
  • Bei-Bei Zhang
  • Ning Ma
  • Mariko Murata
  • An-zhou Tang
  • Guang-Wu Huang
Original Paper


Currently, there are no satisfactory biomarkers available to screen for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Nitric oxide (NO), produced by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), has been suggested to cause nitrative and oxidative stress, leading to the accumulation of 8-nitroguanine (8-NitroG) and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and the subsequent transversion mutation of DNA. The aim of this study was to evaluate iNOS expression and the status of nitrative and oxidative stress in NPC. Fifty-nine cases of NPC and 39 cases of chronic nasopharyngitis were investigated to examine the expression of iNOS and the formation of 8-NitroG and 8-OHdG, using double-immunofluorescent staining. The statistical differences in immunoreactivities were analyzed using the Mann–Whitney test. Thirty-six patients from the 57 cases of NPC and 36 healthy controls were investigated to examine the level of serum 8-OHdG, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The statistical differences were analyzed using a t test. Strong DNA lesions were observed in the cancer cells of NPC patients. All cases of NPC were positive for 8-NitroG and 8-OHdG, and 54 (94.7%) were positive for iNOS. NPC samples exhibited significantly more intense staining for 8-NitroG, 8-OHdG and iNOS than those of chronic nasopharyngitis (P < 0.05, respectively). The mean value of serum 8-OHdG in the 36 NPC patients was 0.538 ± 0.336 ng/ml compared to 0.069 ± 0.059 ng/ml for the healthy controls. The difference in the serum levels of 8-OHdG between the NPC patients and controls was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Our present findings suggest that pathological stimulation of nasopharyngeal tissue, caused by bacterial, viral or parasitic inflammation, may lead to nitrative and oxidative DNA lesions, caused by NO. This may contribute to the cause and development of NPC. Thus, 8-NitroG and 8-OHdG could be potential biomarkers for evaluating the risk of NPC. Better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying nitrative and oxidative DNA damage may provide clues to molecular targets for new approaches of NPC prevention.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma 8-nitroguanine 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine Nitrative DNA damage Oxidative DNA damage 



Project supported by Local High Disease Control and Prevention Research Laboratory Foundation of Guangxi, China (NO.0630006-5E7Z; NO.0842009-Z14); The Natural Science Foundation of Guangxi, China (No.06390-18).

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuan-Jiao Huang
    • 1
  • Bei-Bei Zhang
    • 1
  • Ning Ma
    • 2
  • Mariko Murata
    • 3
  • An-zhou Tang
    • 4
  • Guang-Wu Huang
    • 4
  1. 1.Medical Scientific Research CenterGuangxi Medical UniversityNanningPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Suzuka University of Medical ScienceSuzukaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Environmental and Molecular MedicineMie University Graduate School of MedicineMieJapan
  4. 4.The First Affiliated HospitalGuangxi Medical UniversityNanningPeople’s Republic of China

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