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Study of protein hnRNP K, SET and MARK3 as potential markers of prognosis in squamous cell cancer of head and neck (HNSCC).

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Flávia Amoroso Matos e Silva
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Ribeirão Preto.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (PCARP/BC)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Andréia Machado Leopoldino; Lewis Joel Greene; Rui Celso Martins Mamede
Advisor: Andréia Machado Leopoldino

The head and neck cancers constitute a major public health problem due to the high incidence and some types are associated with behavioral factors such as consumption of alcohol and tobacco. Despite these data, the disease, especially in its early stage can be cured and some types can be prevented. Therefore, there is a need to identify and validate new biomarkers in head and neck cancer, with applications in prognosis and selection of therapies most appropriate. Accordingly, the objectives of this study were validation of the profile of three proteins, SET, hnRNP K and MARK3 in tumors of head and neck, and verify the potential application as markers for diagnosis and prognosis in HNSCC, and suggest a role for these proteins in tumorigenesis. We analyzed 22 samples of head and neck tumors by western blotting (WB) and 96 samples (91 tumors, 4 biopsies and 1 control) arranged in duplicate in the tissue microarray slide, obtained in Brazil and assigned by the GENCAPO Group, by immunohistochemistry (IHC). The data were correlated with all clinical and pathological parameters and prognosis of patients with HNSCC for a period of 48 months. The results obtained by WB and IHC showed the SET accumulation and fragmentation and hnRNP K nuclear and cytoplasmic accumulation in tumor compared to the surgical margin and normal tissue. The hnRNPK prognostic value has been associated with overall survival of patients. The c-Myc protein and its phosphorylated form were analyzed in tumor and surgical margins samples due to its relationship with SET, PP2A and hnRNP K. The results showed accumulated total and phosphorylated c-Myc in tumor samples, which was coincided with increase in SET and hnRNP K. Regarding the protein MARK3 was observed its reduction in tumor and lower disease-free survival. RNA interference (RNAi) against hnRNP K and SET were performed in oral squamous cell carcinoma line (HN13). SET protein reduction by RNAi led to significant reduction of hnRNP K, and hnRNP K showed a minor effect on SET protein, suggesting a regulatory effect on expression or maintenance of hnRNP K by SET in tumor cells. Interference against hnRNP K also reduced tumor cell proliferation. In conclusion, increased SET protein is associated with desmoplasia in HNSCC and may be a potential specific marker for this condition. hnRNP K and MARK3 can serve as potential markers in HNSCC and help identify a subgroup of patients with poor prognosis. The hnRNPK must act a positive effect on cell proliferation of the tumor. SET and hnRNP K may act as oncogenic factors contributing for c-Myc activity. (AU)