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Oral Oncol. 2017 Sep;72:165-173. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2017.07.021. Epub 2017 Jul 27.

Oncogenic signalling pathways in benign odontogenic cysts and tumours.

Author information

1
Department of Oral Surgery and Pathology, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Electronic address: marinadiniz@gmail.com.
2
Department of Pathology, Biological Sciences Institute, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
3
Department of Dentistry, Health and Biological Sciences Institute, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Aracaju, Brazil.
4
Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative Biology, King's College London Dental Institute, London, UK; Department of Orthodontics, King's College London Dental Institute, London, UK.
5
Department of Oral Surgery and Pathology, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Abstract

The first step towards the prevention of cancer is to develop an in-depth understanding of tumourigenesis and the molecular basis of malignant transformation. What drives tumour initiation? Why do most benign tumours fail to metastasize? Oncogenic mutations, previously considered to be the hallmark drivers of cancers, are reported in benign cysts and tumours, including those that have an odontogenic origin. Despite the presence of such alterations, the vast majority of odontogenic lesions are benign and never progress to the stage of malignant transformation. As these lesions are likely to develop due to developmental defects, it is possible that they harbour quiet genomes. Now the question arises - do they result from DNA replication errors? Specific candidate genes have been sequenced in odontogenic lesions, revealing recurrent BRAF mutation in the case of ameloblastoma, KRAS mutation in adenomatoid odontogenic tumours, PTCH1 mutation in odontogenic keratocysts, and CTNNB1 (Beta-catenin) mutation in calcifying odontogenic cysts. Studies on these benign and rare entities might reveal important information about the tumorigenic process and the mechanisms that hinder/halt neoplastic progression. This is because the role of relatively common oncogenic mutations seems to be context dependent. In this review, each mutation signature of the odontogenic lesion and the affected signalling pathways are discussed in the context of tooth development and tumorigenesis. Furthermore, behavioural differences between different types of odontogenic lesions are explored and discussed based on the molecular alteration described. This review also includes the employment of molecular results for guiding therapeutic approaches towards odontogenic lesions.

KEYWORDS:

Benign tumours; Genetics; Odontogenic cysts; Odontogenic tumours; Oncogenic mutations; Oncogenic signalling; Oral cancer; Tumorigenesis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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