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Cancer Lett. 1996 Mar 19;101(1):31-5.

Elevated protein kinase CK2 activity in chromatin of head and neck tumors: association with malignant transformation.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 55417, USA.


We hypothesized that malignant transformation of normal mucosa of the upper aerodigestive tract to squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) might be associated with altered CK2 activity in the chromatin compartment of these tumors. We measured CK2 activity in the cytosol and chromatin of 7 surgical specimens of SCCHN, and 5 specimens of normal oropharyngeal mucosa from non-smokers/non-drinkers. CK2 activity in SCCHN tumors was significantly elevated in both the nuclear chromatin (P < 0.0005) and cytosolic (P <0.04) compartments relative to normal mucosa. These data suggest that activation of dysregulation of the chromatin-associated CK2 signal may play a role in the pathobiology od SCCHN.

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