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Oral Oncol. 2005 Feb;41(2):170-4.

Beta-6 Integrin, tenascin-C, and MMP-1 expression in salivary gland neoplasms.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 521 Parnassus Avenue, C-522, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0440, United States.


Beta-6 Integrin, tenascin-C, and MMP-1 (matrix metalloproteinase-1) are invasion-related proteins that are frequently overexpressed in many human malignancies. The objective of this study was to determine whether there is overexpression of these molecules in three types of salivary neoplasms showing markedly different behavior. A total of 55 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded archived specimens comprising 19 adenoid cystic carcinomas (ACC), 18 polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinomas (PLGA) and 18 pleomorphic adenomas (PA) were utilized in this study. A standard immunohistochemical technique was used to determine the expression levels of beta-6 integrin, tenascin-C, and matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) proteins. Sections were assessed semiquantitatively, and tumors were divided into two groups, low-expressors (0-1+) and high-expressors (2-3+) for statistical analysis. Staining was graded as 0 (<1% positive tumor cells), 1+ (<25% positive tumor cells), 2+ (25-50% positive tumor cells), and 3+ (>50% positive cells). The results showed that the malignant tumors were higher expressors of beta-6 than the benign tumors. ACCs showed significantly higher expression of beta-6 than PAs (p=0.04). No significant difference was observed between ACCs and PLGAs. beta-6 expression was rarely seen in normal salivary gland epithelium and was occasionally present in mucosa overlying the tumors. PAs were high-expressors of tenascin-C with a significant difference relative to ACCs (p=0.03). A majority of tumors in all three tumor types showed high expression of MMP1 with expression significantly greater in the PAs compared to ACCs (p=0.008). We conclude that ACCs and PLGAs express beta-6, tenascin-C, and MMP-1, but that their expression patterns are not significantly different. beta-6 appears to be more closely associated with the malignant tumors, and MMP-1 more closely associated with the benign tumors. We believe that beta-6, tenascin-C, and MMP-1 proteins are part of the molecular repertoire used by salivary tumors for malignant invasion and benign tumor expansion.

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