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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Oct;147(4):726-32. Epub 2012 May 7.

Snail controls the mesenchymal phenotype and drives erlotinib resistance in oral epithelial and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells.

Author information

1
Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The presence of regional metastases in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a common and adverse event associated with poor prognosis. The authors' recent work on human HNSCC tissues underlies Snail's role as a molecular prognostic marker for HNSCC. Snail positivity is significantly predictive of poorly differentiated, lymphovascular invasive, and regionally metastatic tumors. Here, the authors investigate the capacity of Snail to drive epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in human oral epithelial cell lines and its ability to confer drug resistance.

STUDY DESIGN:

Snail was overexpressed in HNSCC and oral epithelial cell lines. Anchorage independent growth assays, wound healing assays, invasion and migration assays, spheroid modeling, and cell survival assays were performed.

SETTING:

Academic tertiary medical center.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

Snail overexpressing HNSCC (OSC, Tu212, Tu686) and oral epithelial cell lines (HOK 16-B, OKF-6) were evaluated using assays for wound healing, invasion and migration, 3-dimensional growth, Western blot, and immunofluorescence.

RESULTS:

The overexpression of Snail in human HNSCC and oral epithelial cell lines drives EMT. The transfection of Snail confers the expression of a mesenchymal molecular signature, including downregulation of the epithelial adherens, such as E-cadherin and β-catenin, and induction of mesenchymal markers. Snail-overexpressing cell lines demonstrate rapid growth in Anchorage-independent growth assays, a decreased capacity to form tight spheroids, an increased resistance to erlotinib, and an increased capacity for invasion.

CONCLUSION:

Snail controls the mesenchymal phenotype and drives erlotinib resistance in HNSCC cells. Snail may prove to be a useful marker in predicting epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor responsiveness.

PMID:
22568942
PMCID:
PMC4167686
DOI:
10.1177/0194599812446407
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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