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Int J Oncol. 2002 Jun;20(6):1151-9.

Characterization of novel cell lines established from three human oral squamous cell carcinomas.

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  • 1Department of Oral Biochemistry, College of Dentistry Seoul National University, Korea.


Human oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines (KOSCC-11, -25A, -25B, -25C, -25D, -25E, -33A, and -33B) were established by explantation culture from these oral squamous cell carcinomas. The histopathology of the primary tumors, in vitro growth characteristics, epithelial origin, in vitro anchorage-independency, in vivo tumorigenicity, the frequency of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, and the status of proto-oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, DNA mismatch repair genes, and microsatellite instability were investigated in the cell lines. KOSCC-11 is a well-differentiated oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) derived from mandibular gingiva. KOSCC-25A, -25B, -25C, -25D, and -25E cell lines were derived from the same OSCC. KOSCC-33A and -33B were established from the same tumor that originated from the maxillary sinus. All tumor lines studied grew as monolayers and showed: i) epithelial origin by the presence of desmosome and keratin; ii) in vitro anchorage-independent growth ability; and iii) tumorigenic potential in nude mice. The cancer cell lines did not contain HPV DNA and did not express viral genes. Northern blot analysis revealed: i) overexpression of EGFR in four cell lines, ii) overexpression of c-H-ras in four cell lines, iii) overexpression of c-myc in three cell lines, iv) decreased expression of TGF-alpha in seven cell lines, and v) decreased expression of c-jun in five cancer cell lines compared with normal human oral keratinocytes. In all KOSCC cell lines and their corresponding tumor tissues, mutations were identified in highly-conserved functional regions of the p53 gene. The KOSCC-11 cell line contained a frameshift mutation and the other cell lines harbored an identical p53 mutation at codon 175 from CGC (Arg) to CTC (Leu). In five cell lines, a significant reduction of p21WAF1/Cip1 protein was evident. Cancer cell lines expressed higher level of Rb protein than normal human oral keratinocytes. DCC, a tumor suppressor gene, was not detected in KOSCC-25C. The KOSCC-33A cell line displayed microsatellite instability and showed a loss of hMSH2 expression. These well-characterized human OSCC cell lines should serve as useful tools for understanding the biological characteristics of oral cancer.

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