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Virchows Arch. 2012 Aug;461(2):163-8. doi: 10.1007/s00428-012-1283-2. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

In oral squamous cell carcinoma, high FAK expression is correlated with low P53 expression.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hospital de Cabueñes, Gijón, Asturias, Spain.


Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and p53 have been associated with metastatic activity and a poor prognosis in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Recently, a feedback mechanism in which FAK regulates p53 has been proposed. The present study aims to determine the role of p53 in FAK regulation in these tumors. FAK and p53 expression was examined by immunohistochemistry in normal oral mucosa and in 67 oral squamous cell carcinomas. p16(INK4a) was also studied in view of its association with human papillomavirus infection. The association between FAK and p53 was subsequently analyzed. FAK expression in OSCCs was heterogeneous: 22 (33 %) cases showed weak expression, 16 (24 %) showed moderate expression, and 22 (33 %) cases showed high expression. Regarding p53, 31 of 67 (46 %) available tumor specimens showed negative staining, and 36 of 67 (54 %) showed positive nuclear staining for p53. FAK expression was inversely correlated with p53 expression (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.005). There was no association between p16(INK4a) and p53 or FAK expression. In conclusion, our results support the hypothesis that FAK activity might be involved in the down-regulation of p53 expression in OSCC.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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