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Br J Cancer. 2004 Mar 8;90(5):1093-9.

Preferential expression of hPGFS in primary SCCHN and tumour cell lines derived from respiratory and digestive organs.

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Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, SVM, Louisiana State University, Skip Bertman Drive, LA 70803, USA.


Identifying overexpressed genes in tumours is a critical step for tumour diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. Using differential display polymerase chain reaction, sequence analysis, and gene Blast searches, we discovered that human prostaglandin F synthase (hPGFS) was upregulated in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Northern blot analysis indicated that up to a 16-fold increase in the level of hPGFS expression was detected in 40.5% (15 out of 37) of SCCHN primary tumours. The increased expression of hPGFS in SCCHN was primarily detected in SCC of larynx and hypopharynx (59%, P<0.05). Using the same primary tissue samples, increased levels of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression were detected in only 32% of tumour tissues, suggesting hPGFS may have the potential to become a drug target or molecular marker for SCCHN. To determine if the increased level of hPGFS expression came from tumour cells, we determined the level of hPGFS expression in SCCHN tumour cell lines. A high level of hPGFS expression was detected in four out of five tumour SCCHN cell lines. To determine if upregulation of hPGFS is SCCHN-specific, hPGFS expression was analysed in 59 tumour cell lines derived from different types of tumours. The expression of hPGFS was increased from two- to 500-fold in a large portion of cell lines derived from lung (five out of nine), colon (five out of seven) as well as head and neck cancer (four out of five). These data link hPGFS expression to tumours located in the respiratory and digestive organs.

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