Deregulated expression of SOX11 has been shown to be involved in the progression of various types of cancer. However, the role of SOX11 in head and neck cancer remains largely unknown. In this study, coimmunoprecipitation (Co-IP) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were performed to identify the proteins that bind to SOX11 at significantly higher levels in head and neck cancer cells than in normal human oral keratinocytes. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analyses indicated that many potential SOX11-binding partners were associated with protein synthesis, cell metabolism, and cell-cell adhesion. One of the identified proteins, heat shock protein 90 alpha (HSP90α), was selected for further investigation. The binding of HSP90α with SOX11 in head and neck cancer cells was validated by Co-IP with western blotting. In addition, HSP90α was found to be remarkably overexpressed in head and neck cancer cell lines when compared to its level in normal human oral keratinocytes, and knockdown of HSP90α inhibited the proliferation and invasion capacity of these cancer cells. On the basis of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data analysis, HSP90AA1 gene was overexpressed in head and neck cancer tissues compared to normal controls and increased HSP90AA1 gene expression was positively associated with extracapsular spread and clinical stage. Head and neck cancer patients with higher HSP90AA1 expression had significantly poorer long-term overall and disease-free survival rates than those with lower HSP90AA1 expression. Collectively, our studies indicate that SOX11 binds to HSP90α, a highly overexpressed protein that may promote invasion and progression of head and neck cancer cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- head and neck cancer