Open Access Research article

Dysregulation of heat shock protein 27 expression in oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma

Anxun Wang1, Xiqiang Liu23, Shihu Sheng1, Hui Ye24, Tingsheng Peng5, Fei Shi6, David L Crowe27 and Xiaofeng Zhou237*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, PR China

2 Center for Molecular Biology of Oral Diseases, College of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, USA

3 Research Institute & the Affiliated Hospital of Stomatology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, PR China

4 Shanghai Children's Medical Center, Shanghai Jiao-Tong University, Shanghai, PR China

5 Department of Pathology, the First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, PR China

6 Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, USA

7 Graduate College, UIC Cancer Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, USA

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BMC Cancer 2009, 9:167  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-167

Published: 4 June 2009

Abstract

Background

Recent proteomic studies identified Hsp27 as a highly over-expressed protein in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Clinical studies that attempted to evaluate the prognostic values of Hsp27 yielded inconsistent results, which may be due to inclusion of OSCC cases from multiple anatomic sites. In this study, to determine the utility of Hsp27 for prognosis, we focused on oral tongue SCC (OTSCC), one of the most aggressive forms of OSCC.

Methods

Archival clinical samples of 15 normal oral tongue mucosa, 31 dysplastic lesions, 80 primary OTSCC, and 32 lymph node metastases were examined for Hsp27 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Statistical analyses were carried out to assess the prognostic value of Hsp27 expression for patients with this disease.

Results

Dysregulation of Hsp27 expression was observed in dysplastic lesions, primary OTSCC, and lymph node metastases, and appears to be associated with disease progression. Statistical analysis revealed that the reduced Hsp27 expression in primary tumor tissue was associated with poor differentiation. Furthermore, the higher expression of Hsp27 was correlated with better overall survival.

Conclusion

Our study confirmed that the dysregulation of Hsp27 expression is a frequent event during the progression of OTSCC. The expression of Hsp27 appears to be an independent prognostic marker for patients with this disease.