COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Human oral cancers have altered expression of Bcl-2 family members and increased expression of the anti-apoptotic splice variant of Mcl-1

S Mallick, R Patil, R Gyanchandani, S Pawar, V Palve, S Kannan, K A Pathak, M Choudhary, T R Teni
Journal of Pathology 2009, 217 (3): 398-407
19009587
Expression of Bcl-2 family proteins in tumours can modulate apoptosis, influencing tumour behaviour and treatment. To investigate their role in oral tumourigenesis, nine Bcl-2 family transcripts were examined in three oral cell lines and 25 oral tumours, using ribonuclease protection assay. Since Mcl-1 mRNA was elevated in these samples, Mcl-1 splice variants were assessed by RT-PCR and Mcl-1 protein was studied in normal, premalignant and malignant oral tissues and cell lines, by immunohistochemistry and/or immunoblotting. The cell lines exhibited significantly higher levels of 7/9 Bcl-2 family transcripts as compared to those in normal tongue, and significantly higher (p=0.030, p=0.004) anti-apoptotic versus pro-apoptotic transcripts. Elevated Mcl-1 mRNA was observed in 11/25 (44%) tumours as compared to normal tissues with a five- to ten-fold higher expression of full-length anti-apoptotic Mcl-1 transcript versus the pro-apoptotic short isoform. Strong cytoplasmic Mcl-1 immunoreactivity was detected predominantly in differentiated epithelia in 27/33 (82%) oral tumours, 18/20 (90%) leukoplakia, 25/30 (83%) submucous fibrosis and 3/3 oral cell lines, with weak staining in 8/15 (53%) normal mucosa samples. Mcl-1 positivity in malignant and premalignant tissues was comparable but significantly higher (p<0.01) than that in normal mucosa. The expression of bcl-2 family genes, including Mcl-1 in tumours, did not correlate significantly with clinicopathological parameters. This is the first report delineating the in vivo expression patterns of Mcl-1 protein and Mcl-1 transcripts in oral cancers and premalignant lesions. The observed imbalance between expression of anti-apoptotic and pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family genes may promote survival in the oral cell lines. Since the majority of oral tumours associated with tobacco-chewing evolve from premalignant lesions, the sustained expression of full-length anti-apoptotic Mcl-1 protein in these tissues suggests an important role for Mcl-1, early in oral cancer pathogenesis in protecting cells from apoptosis via neutralization of pro-apoptotic members and could be a potential therapeutic target for oral cancers.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
19009587
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"