Pathology & Oncology Research

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 301–305 | Cite as

Overexpression of Autophagy-Related 16-Like 1 in Patients with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Jen-Yang Tang
  • Edward Hsi
  • Ya-Chun Huang
  • Nicholas Chung-Heng Hsu
  • Wen-Chi Yang
  • Hsueh-Wei Chang
  • Chee-Yin Chai
  • Pei-Yi Chu


Dyregulation of autophagy has been reported in various human cancers including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The objective of this study was to link expression of autophagy-related 16-like 1 (ATG16L1), a protein essential for autophagosome formation, to clinical outcome in a cohort of 90 OSCC patients. Expression level of ATG16L1 was assessed by immunohistochemistry and an immunoreactivity score (IRS), ranging from 0 to 9, was assigned to each case. The results were correlated with clinicopathological parameters and outcome of patients. Twenty-seven patients (30 %) exhibited ATG16L1 overexpression as indicated by an IRS of 9. Overexpression of ATG16L1 was significantly associated with disease stage (p = 0.001), size (p = 0.031) of the tumor, lymph node metastasis (p = 0.004), and histological grade (p = 0.038). ATG16L1 overexpression significantly affected the overall survival (p = 0.020) and time to recurrence (p = 0.031) of OSCC patients in Kaplan-Meier analysis. The present study suggested that ATG16L1 may be used as a biomarker for selecting OSCC patients with a more aggressive phenotype.


Autophagy Oral cancer Immunohistochemistry Autophagy-related 16-like 1 



Oral squamous cell carcinoma


Autophagy-related 16-like 1


Immunoreactivity score


Receiver operating characteristics


Overall survival


Time to recurrence


Conflict of Interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Arányi Lajos Foundation 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jen-Yang Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Edward Hsi
    • 3
  • Ya-Chun Huang
    • 4
  • Nicholas Chung-Heng Hsu
    • 3
  • Wen-Chi Yang
    • 5
  • Hsueh-Wei Chang
    • 6
  • Chee-Yin Chai
    • 4
    • 7
  • Pei-Yi Chu
    • 8
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Radiation Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, College of MedicineKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Radiation OncologyKaohsiung Medical University HospitalKaohsiungTaiwan
  3. 3.Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of MedicineKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of PathologyKaohsiung Medical University HospitalKaohsiungTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of Internal MedicineKaohsiung Medical University HospitalKaohsiungTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of Biomedical Science and Environmental BiologyKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  7. 7.Institute of Biomedical SciencesNational Sun Yat-Sen UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  8. 8.Department of PathologySt. Martin De Porres HospitalChiayiTaiwan
  9. 9.School of MedicineFu-Jen Catholic UniversityNew Taipei CityTaiwan

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