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Int J Cancer. 2004 Jun 10;110(2):225-31.

Sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase type 2 downregulated in human oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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Department of Clinical Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.


Mice with a heterozygous deletion of the Atp2a2 gene (Atp2a2(+/-)) encoding SERCA2 spontaneously develop SCCs of the skin and upper digestive tract, including the oral cavity. To elucidate the contribution of ATP2A2 to human oral carcinogenesis, we analyzed genetic and epigenetic changes as well as mRNA and protein expression in primary OSCCs and OPLs. With the exception of one OSCC-derived cell line showing a 12 bp deletion of ATP2A2, we found no mutations in the coding sequence of the gene in primary OSCCs (n = 52), OPLs (n = 32) and cell lines (n = 8). In immunohistochemistry, however, high frequencies of ATP2A2 downregulation were evident not only in primary OSCCs (42%, 42/100) but also in OPLs (31%, 10/32). Real-time quantitative RT-PCR data were consistent with the protein expression status. Aberrant DNA methylation within ATP2A2 also was detected in 9 of 30 ATP2A2-downregulated OSCCs. Moreover, restoration or elevated expression of the ATP2A2 protein was induced in most of the cell lines showing ATP2A2 methylation after treatment with 5-aza-2'-dC, a DNA demethylating agent. These results suggest that inactivation of the ATP2A2 gene is a frequent and early event during oral carcinogenesis and that loss of expression may be regulated partly by an epigenetic mechanism.

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