Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is one of the most frequently occurring types of cancer worldwide. We focused on the fact that the aberrant function of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is a frequent event in malignancies. Dickkopf (Dkk)-3 is a major negative regulator of Wnt/β catenin signaling, which is a known tumor suppressor and is down regulated in various types of cancer. However, the expression profile of the Dkk-3 protein in HNSCC has not yet been reported. The present study was conducted to investigate Dkk-3 protein expression in 90 cases of HNSCC tissue samples and HNSCC-derived cell lines. In contrast to findings available on other types of cancer, the Western blot analysis revealed that HNSCC cell lines expressed the Dkk-3 protein. In immunohistochemistry, 76 cases (84.4%) out of 90 tissue samples were Dkk-3-positive, whereas only 14 cases (15.6%) were negative. Notably, survival analysis showed that the Dkk-3 (-) group exhibited significantly longer disease-free survival (p=0.038), metastasis-free survival (p=0.013) and longer overall survival (p=0.155). The results showed that the Dkk-3 protein was dominantly expressed and may be involved in carcinogenesis and metastasis in HNSCC. Moreover, the findings suggest that the function of Dkk-3 differs depending on the tissue of origin, and that it may exert an oncogenic function in HNSCC.
- Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research