It is important to examine the abnormality of the entire p53 tumor suppressor pathway in head and neck cancer. We examined the mRNA expressions of p53 regulatory factors, p33ING1 and p14ARF, and a p53-target gene, p21WAF1 in head and neck cancer. Nine of 14 benign pleomorphic adenomas (PAs) and 7 of 8 malignant salivary gland tumors (MSGTs) expressed p33ING1 mRNA. Thirteen of 14 PAs expressed p14ARF mRNA, however, only 1 of 8 MSGTs expressed p14ARF mRNA. Eight of 14 PAs and 7 of 8 MSGTs expressed p21WAF1 mRNA. In salivary gland tumors, there was clear correlation between the expression of p33ING1 and p21WAF1 (p<0.0001, r2=0.53). However, there was no correlation between the expression of p14ARF and p21WAF1 (p=0.6543, r2=0.009). Twenty-six of 28 oral squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) expressed p33ING1 mRNA. Nineteen of 28 oral SCCs expressed p14ARF mRNA. All of the oral SCCs expressed p21WAF1 mRNA. In oral SCCs, the expressions of both p33ING1 (p=0.009, r2=0.181) and p14ARF (p=0.0009, r2=0.271) correlated with the expression of p21WAF1. Interestingly, 24 of 26 oral SCCs (92%) showed either abnormality of p53 itself or loss of expression of p53 regulatory factors, p33ING or p14ARF. These results suggest that head and neck cancer often involve the dysfunction of p53 tumor suppressor pathway.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research