A role of activated Sonic hedgehog signaling for the cellular proliferation of oral squamous cell carcinoma cell line

Haruaki Nishimaki, Kenji Kasai, Ken Ichi Kozaki, Tomohiro Takeo, Hiroshi Ikeda, Shinsuke Saga, Masakazu Nitta, Gen Itoh

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54 Citations (Scopus)


Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is a secreted morphogen crucial for appropriate cellular proliferation during mammalian development. The activated Shh signaling is known to predispose to human tumors such as medulloblastoma and basal cell carcinoma, while a role of Shh signaling in the other common tumors is still controversial. Here we showed the overexpression of Shh in five cell lines among 14 human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines. One of the Shh-expressing OSCC cell lines HSQ-89 showed the inhibition of G1/S transition and apoptotic cell death by treatment with Cyclopamine, a steroidal alkaloid that blocks the intracellular Shh signaling. Furthermore, we found that treatment with Y-27632, a specific inhibitor of Rho-associated kinase, mimicked the effect of Cyclopamine on the cell cycle progression of HSQ-89. Our study revealed the involvement of activated Shh signaling in the cellular proliferation of OSCC cells, indicating Shh signaling might be a good therapeutic target for OSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 6 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle
  • Cyclopamine
  • Oral cancer
  • Rho-associated kinase
  • Smoothened
  • Sonic hedgehog
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Y-27632

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

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