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CTIP2 expression in human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is linked to poorly differentiated tumor status.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: We have demonstrated earlier that CTIP2 is highly expressed in mouse skin during embryogenesis and in adulthood. CTIP2 mutant mice die at birth with epidermal differentiation defects and a compromised epidermal permeability barrier suggesting its role in skin development and/or homeostasis. CTIP2 has also been suggested to function as tumor suppressor in cells, and several reports have described a link between chromosomal rearrangements of CTIP2 and human T cell acute lymphoblast leukemia (T-ALL). The aim of the present study was to look into the pattern of CTIP2 expression in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present study, we analyzed CTIP2 expression in human HNSCC cell lines by western blotting, in paraffin embedded archival specimens by immunohistochemistry (IHC), and in cDNA samples of human HNSCC by qRT-PCR. Elevated levels of CTIP2 protein was detected in several HNSCC cell lines. CTIP2 staining was mainly detected in the basal layer of the head and neck normal epithelium. CTIP2 expression was found to be significantly elevated in HNSCC (p<0.01), and increase in CTIP2 expression was associated with poorly differentiated tumor status. Nuclear co-localization of CTIP2 protein and cancer stem cell (CSC) marker BMI1 was observed in most, if not all of the cells expressing BMI1 in moderately and poorly differentiated tumors. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We report for the first time expression of transcriptional regulator CTIP2 in normal human head and neck epithelia. A statistically significant increase in the expression of CTIP2 was detected in the poorly differentiated samples of the human head and neck tumors. Actual CTIP2, rather than the long form of CTIP2 (CTIP2(L)) was found to be more relevant to the differentiation state of the tumors. Results demonstrated existence of distinct subsets of cancer cells, which express CTIP2 and underscores the use of CTIP2 and BMI1 co-labeling to distinguish tumor initiating cells or cancer stem cells (CSCs) from surrounding cancer cells.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 11:27:26 AM
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Gitali Ganguli-Indra, Christine Wasylyk, Xiaobo Liang, Regine Millon, Mark Leid, et al.. CTIP2 expression in human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is linked to poorly differentiated tumor status.. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2009, 4 (4), pp.e5367. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0005367⟩. ⟨inserm-00387874⟩



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