Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 1671–1681 | Cite as

The upregulated α-catulin expression was involved in head-neck squamous cell carcinogenesis by promoting proliferation, migration, invasion, and epithelial to mesenchymal transition

  • Zhuo Zhang
  • Xue-feng Yang
  • Ke-qiang Huang
  • Li Ren
  • Shuang Zhao
  • Wen-feng Gou
  • Dao-fu Shen
  • Hong-zhi Sun
  • Yasuo Takano
  • Hua-chuan Zheng
Original Article


Rho signaling component, α-catulin, is a cytoskeletal linker protein and plays an important role in apoptotic and senescence resistance, cytoskeletal reorganization, mobility, invasion, and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) of cancer cells. Here, we transfected α-catulin-expressing plasmid into head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell and examined the phenotypes and relevant molecules. α-catulin expression was detected on tissue microarray containing squamous epithelium, dysplasia, and cancer of head and neck by immunohistochemistry. It was found that α-catulin overexpression resulted in faster growth, migration and invasion, lower apoptosis, G2/M progression, and EMT than the mock and control (P < 0.05). α-catulin overexpression increased the expression of Cyclin E1, cdc2, survivin, Bcl-2, MMP-2, MMP-9, and N-cadherin but decreased the expression of Caspase-3 and E-cadherin by real-time PCR (P < 0.05). α-catulin expression was stronger in primary cancers than those in normal squamous epithelium and dysplasia (P < 0.05), but not correlated with aggressive behaviors or adverse prognosis of HNSCC patients (P > 0.05). Multivariate survival analysis showed that distant metastasis and TNM staging were independent prognostic factors for overall survival of the HNSCC patients (P < 0.05). These data indicated that upregulated expression of α-catulin protein might have impact on the tumorigenesis of HNSCC possibly by reducing apoptosis, enhancing proliferation, cell cycle progression, migration, invasion, and EMT. It might be regarded as a potential marker for head and neck carcinogenesis or a target of gene therapy for HNSCCs.


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma α-Catulin Pathogenesis Progression Prognosis 



This study was supported by President Fund of Liaoning Medical University (XZJJ20140201; XZJJ20140203), a Project Supported by Scientific Research Fund of Liaoning Provincial Education Department (LJQ2014093; L2015325), a Key Scientific and Technological Project of Liaoning Province (2005408001), and National Natural Scientific Foundation of China (81172371; 81472544).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhuo Zhang
    • 1
  • Xue-feng Yang
    • 2
  • Ke-qiang Huang
    • 3
  • Li Ren
    • 4
  • Shuang Zhao
    • 2
  • Wen-feng Gou
    • 2
  • Dao-fu Shen
    • 2
  • Hong-zhi Sun
    • 2
  • Yasuo Takano
    • 5
  • Hua-chuan Zheng
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of StomatologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning Medical UniversityJinzhouChina
  2. 2.Cancer Research Center, The Key Laboratory of Brain and Spinal Cord Injury of Liaoning Province, Laboratory Animal CenterThe First Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning Medical UniversityJinzhouChina
  3. 3.The Second Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning Medical UniversityJinzhouChina
  4. 4.Department of PostgraduateLiaoning Medical UniversityJinzhouChina
  5. 5.School of Health ScienceTokyo University of TechnologyTokyoJapan

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