Differential expression of basement membrane collagen-IV α1 to α6 chains during oral carcinogenesis

Ryo Tamamura, Hitoshi Nagatsuka, Chong Huat Siar, Naoki Katase, Ichiro Naito, Yoshikazu Sado, Noriyuki Nagai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to resolve if basement membrane (BM) collagen α chains undergo remodeling during oral carcinogenesis. Using immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy, we found that BMs in oral epithelial dysplasias (OED: mild, n=10; moderate, n=10; severe, n=10) and carcinoma in situ (CIS) (n=10) differed from normal mucosa (n=6) and oral epithelial hyperplasia (n=5) in showing: (1) excessive lamina densa-like material ultrastructurally, and (2) stronger immunoexpression for α5(IV) than for α1(IV), α2(IV), and α6(IV) chains-findings that implicate these molecules' role as an adhesive template for the attachment and persistence of basal dysplastic cells. Incipient loss of BM integrity in CIS, where α5(IV)/α6(IV) chains were more frequently absent than α1(IV)/α2(IV) chains, suggests that α(IV) network disruption is crucial for progression of dysplastic cells into the extracellular compartment, marking transition into the invasive phase. In carcinomatous BM, the disappearance of α(IV) chains was more severe in poorly differentiated oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) (n=10) than in well-differentiated OSCC (n=10). In all samples examined, α3(IV) and α4(IV) chains were absent. These findings taken together suggest that BM collagen-IV α chains undergo remodeling where selective increase and loss of these molecules are probably early and late events, respectively, during progression of oral dysplasia to cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-366
Number of pages9
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


  • Carcinoma in situ
  • Collagen-IV α chains
  • Epithelial dysplasia
  • Oral carcinogenesis
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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