Head and Neck Pathology

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 232–243

Cytoplasmic Ezrin and Moesin Correlate with Poor Survival in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Nicolas F. Schlecht
  • Margaret Brandwein-Gensler
  • Richard V. Smith
  • Nicole Kawachi
  • Darcy Broughel
  • Juan Lin
  • Christian E. Keller
  • Paul A. Reynolds
  • Frank J. Gunn-Moore
  • Thomas Harris
  • Geoffrey Childs
  • Thomas J. Belbin
  • Michael B. Prystowsky
Original Paper


Members of the 4.1 superfamily of proteins, including ezrin, moesin, merlin, and willin regulate many normal physiologic processes such as cellular shape, motility, and proliferation. In addition, they contribute both to tumor development and tumor progression. We reported previously that strong cytoplasmic ezrin expression was independently associated with poorer patient survival. One hundred and thirty-one histologically confirmed primary head and neck squamous cell carcinomas were examined prospectively for cancer progression and survival at a large health care center in the Bronx, NY, USA. Immunohistochemical analysis of ezrin, moesin, merlin, and willin expression in tissue microarray samples of primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma revealed a significant association of increased cytoplasmic ezrin with poor cancer survival. Global RNA analyses suggest that cancers with high cytoplasmic ezrin have a more invasive phenotype. This study supports our previous findings associating cytoplasmic ezrin with more aggressive behavior and poorer outcome and indicates the need for a multi-institutional study to validate the use of cytoplasmic ezrin as a biomarker for treatment planning in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.


Head and neck cancer Ezrin Moesin Willin Merlin Immunohistochemistry Survival 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas F. Schlecht
    • 1
    • 2
  • Margaret Brandwein-Gensler
    • 3
  • Richard V. Smith
    • 4
  • Nicole Kawachi
    • 5
  • Darcy Broughel
    • 5
  • Juan Lin
    • 1
  • Christian E. Keller
    • 5
  • Paul A. Reynolds
    • 6
  • Frank J. Gunn-Moore
    • 7
  • Thomas Harris
    • 5
  • Geoffrey Childs
    • 5
  • Thomas J. Belbin
    • 5
  • Michael B. Prystowsky
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Population HealthAlbert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineAlbert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity of Alabama BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  4. 4.Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck SurgeryAlbert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA
  5. 5.Department of PathologyAlbert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA
  6. 6.School of MedicineUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsScotland, UK
  7. 7.School of BiologyUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsScotland, UK

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