Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2010 Nov 29;5(11):e14082. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014082.

Epithelial cell transforming sequence 2 in human oral cancer.

Author information

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



Epithelial cell transforming sequence 2 (ECT2) is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rho family GTPase, which has been implicated in the malignant phenotype of human cancers. Little is known about the effect of a high level of ECT2 in regulating oral cancer cell behavior. In this study, we investigated the involvement of ECT2 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).


We analyzed ECT2 expression in OSCC-derived cell lines and primary OSCCs compared with matched normal tissue (n = 96) by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. We then evaluated the correlation between the ECT2 expression status in primary OSCCs and the clinicopathological features. ECT2 expression was significantly up-regulated in OSCCs in vitro and in vivo (p<0.05). Among the clinical variables analyzed, higher ECT2 expression also was associated with the TNM stage grading (p<0.05). When we performed functional analyses of ECT2 in OSCC-derived cells using the shRNA system, the cellular proliferation of the ECT2 knockdown cells decreased significantly compared with the control cells (p<0.05). Cell cycle analysis by flow cytometry showed arrest of cell cycle progression at the G1 phase in the ECT2 knockdown cells. We also found up-regulation of the Cip/Kip family of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, p21(cip1) and p27(kip1), and down-regulation of cyclin D1, cyclin E, and CDK4. These data suggested that the elevated Cip/Kip family induced inhibition of the cyclin D1-CDK complex activity leading to cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase.


Our results proposed for the first time that ECT2 is an indicator of cellular proliferation in OSCCs and that ECT2 might be a potential therapeutic target for the development of new treatments for OSCCs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center