PURPOSE. Little is known about the molecular alterations that drive formation and growth of conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC). We therefore sought to identify genetic changes that could be used as diagnostic markers or therapeutic targets. METHODS. The DNA extracted from 10 snap-frozen cSCC tumor specimens and 2 in situ carcinomas was analyzed using array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), and further examined with NanoString and quantitative PCR. RESULTS. The number of regions of DNA loss ranged from 1 to 23 per tumor, whereas gains and amplifications ranged from 1 to 15 per tumor. Most large regions of chromosomal gain and loss were confirmed by NanoString karyotype analysis. The commonest alteration was amplification of 8p11.22 in 9 tumors (75%), and quantitative PCR analysis revealed 100-fold or greater overexpression of ADAM3A mRNA from 8p11.22 locus. In addition, recurring losses were observed at 14q13.2 and 22q11.23, both lost in 5 (42%) of the 12 tumors, and at 12p13.31, lost in 4 (33%) of the 12 samples. Of the eight loci associated with the DNA damage repair syndrome xeroderma pigmentosum, three showed loss of at least one allele in our aCGH analysis, including XPA (9q22.33, one tumor), XPE/DDB2 (11p11.2, one tumor) and XPG/ERCC5 (13q33.1, three tumors). CONCLUSIONS. Conjunctival SCC contains a range of chromosomal alterations potentially important in tumor formation and growth. Amplification of 8p11.22 and overexpression of ADAM3A suggests a potential role for this protease. Our findings also suggest that defects in DNA repair loci are important in sporadic cSCC.
- Array CGH
- Conjunctiva squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC)
- NanoString assay
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience