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Int J Oncol. 2012 Jan;40(1):47-52. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2011.1178. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

State of heat shock factor 1 expression as a putative diagnostic marker for oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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Department of Clinical Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.


Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) is responsible for expres-- sion of a large class of heat shock proteins that have been implicated in the malignant phenotype of human cancers. Little is known about the effect of a high level of HSF1 on the behavior of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). In this study, we assessed the value of HSF1 for predicting clinical outcomes in OSCC. Quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting showed that the expressions of HSF1 mRNA and protein in OSCC-derived cell lines (HSC-2, HSC-3, HSC-4, Sa3, Ca9-22, KON and Ho-1-u-1) were elevated compared with those in human normal oral keratinocytes (P<0.05). Similar to in vitro data, HSF1 mRNA expression in primary OSCCs (n=50) was significantly greater than in normal counterparts (P<0.05). Since HSF1 was observed in the nucleus and cytoplasm by immu-- nohistochemistry, we investigated the correlation between the HSF1 expression status at each subcellular location and the clinical behavior of OSCCs. Among the clinical classifications, higher nuclear HSF1 expression was closely related to tumor size and histopathologic types (P<0.05). These results showed for the first time that nuclear HSF1 expression may contribute to cancer progression and that HSF1 might be a potential diagnostic biomarker and a therapeutic target for OSCCs.

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