Stem cell markers CXCR-4 and CD133 predict aggressive phenotype and their double positivity indicates poor prognosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma

Ravindran Caspa Gokulan, Halagowder Devaraj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The activation of the SDF-1/CXCR-4 pathway is crucial for the invasion and metastasis of oral cancer cells. The CXCR-4 positive cells possess stem cell characteristics and express the cancer stem cell marker, CD133, in tumors of colon and pancreas. Despite several studies, the co-expression of CXCR-4 and CD133 and its significance is still largely unknown in oral cancer. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the impact of CXCR-4 and CD133 double positivity in the prognosis of oral cancer. The significance of PKC-δ, one of the key signaling molecules that regulates CXCR-4, was also analyzed. Immunohistochemistry and double immunofluorescence was used to investigate the co-localization of CXCR-4, PKC-δ and CD133 in the human tissues and cell lines of oral squamous cell carcinoma. The expression of CXCR-4, PKC-δ and CD133 were found to be higher in poorly differentiated and lymph node metastasis-positive cases. Interestingly, CXCR-4 positive cells showed positive staining for PKC-δ and CD133 in oral cancer tissue and cell lines. Moreover, CXCR-4+/CD133+ and CXCR-4+/ PKC-δ+ double positive cases have the worst survival. We discovered, for the first time, that patients with expression of both CXCR-4 and CD133 have a lower survival rate, and CXCR-4+/CD133+, as well as CXCR-4+/ PKC-δ+ double positivity, can be utilized to predict poor prognosis. CXCR-4, PKC-δ and CD133 might regulate aggressiveness and invasion of oral cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5895
JournalCancers
Volume13
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CD133
  • CXCR-4
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Oral cancer
  • PKC-δ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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