Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) Overexpression and Phosphorylation in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma and their Clinicopathological Significance

  • Aki Kato
  • Koroku KatoEmail author
  • Hiroki Miyazawa
  • Hisano Kobayashi
  • Natsuyo Noguchi
  • Shuichi Kawashiri
Original Article


Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is involved in progression of various cancers, and FAK overexpression has been associated with cancer invasion and metastasis. However, the involvement of FAK expression in the clinicopathological malignancy of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remains unknown. In addition, there is no consensus regarding the role of p16 expression in OSCC. In this study, the immunohistochemically measured expression of FAK, phosphorylated FAK (FAKpY397) and p16 expressions and their associations with clinicopathological features and 5-year survival rates were examined in surgical samples from 70 patients with primary OSCC. FAK and FAKpY397 were expressed at high levels in 42 cases (60.0%) and 34 cases (48.6%), respectively, and 9 cases (12.9%) were positive for p16. FAK expression was significantly correlated with local recurrence, subsequent metastasis, and the mode of invasion. FAKpY397 expression was significantly correlated with both N classification and the mode of invasion. p16 expression was significantly correlated with clinical stage only. Patients having high expression of FAK, FAKpY397, or both showed significantly worse prognosis, but p16 expression showed no significant relation to prognosis. The results suggested that overexpression and phosphorylation of FAK in OSCC may affect cancer progression, such as local invasion and lymph node metastasis, and thereby contribute to life prognosis.


Focal adhesion kinase FAK FAKpY397 p16 Oral squamous cell carcinoma Prognosis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Arányi Lajos Foundation 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryKanazawa University Graduate School of Medical ScienceKanazawaJapan

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