Carcinoma cells of epithelial origin are predisposed to acquire a fibroblastic feature during progression of neoplasm referred to as the epithelial-mesenchymal transition. HMGA2 is an architectural transcriptional factor that is expressed in the undifferentiated mesenchyme and initiates mesenchymal tumor formation. However, the biological consequence of the expression in the pathology of epithelial-type carcinomas is controversial. The present study was conducted to dissect the expression pattern in oral squamous cell carcinomas. HMGA2 was detected exclusively in carcinoma cell lines and tissues, but not in normal keratinocytes and gingival, by conventional reverse transcription-PCR. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR demonstrated 160-fold more HMGA2 expression in carcinoma tissues than in normal gingiva and 11-fold more HMGA2 expression in carcinoma cell lines than in normal keratinocytes. HMGA2 expression was observed by immunohistochemistry in 73.8% of 42 carcinomas and localized to the invasive front, where the cells exhibit the epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Fourteen patients who had been classified into a group without lymph node metastasis were positive for HMGA2 staining, and the disease recurred. Furthermore, carcinomas from all 23 patients who died of tumor recurrence stained for HMGA2, and HMGA2 staining was correlated to long-term survival of patients (P < 0.01). Multivariate risk factor analysis demonstrated that HMGA2 expression was an independent prognostic value for disease-specific overall survival (P < 0.01). These results suggest that HMGA2 contributes to the aggressiveness of carcinoma and that detection of HMGA2 expression is a useful predictive and prognostic tool in clinical management of oral carcinomas.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research