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
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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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