Document Type : Original Paper


1 Department of Medical Genetics, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Medical Genetics, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran. I.R Iran.

3 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, I.R Iran.


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) represents a large majority of cancers arising from the head and neck, especially the oral cavity. Despite advances in therapy, the five-year survival rate remains low due to the number of patients presenting advanced stages of the disease. The role of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in tumorigenesis in HNSCC remains unexplored. The current study aimed at investigating the mRNA expression of the three major factors in tumor specimens to define their functional and pathological roles in this malignancy. The expression of E-cadherin, vimentin, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were examined in 31 tumorous and 31 non-tumorous samples obtained from patients with HNSCC. Total RNA was extracted from all tumors for cDNA synthesis and mRNA expression levels of E-cadherin, vimentin, and TNF-α were assessed by real-time PCR. We showed a significant decrease in E-cadherin expression and increase in vimentin and TNF-α expression in tumorous samples in comparison with non-tumorous ones (P ≤0.05). Also, there was a significant correlation between vimentin mRNA expression and poor differentiation of tumor (P ≤0.05).Since many studies investigated EMT markers in head and neck cell lines, the current study on human samples can unveil the role of these markers in HNSCC and their relationship with patients` clinicopathological features. Therefore, it might be possible to prevent it, and a therapeutic strategy could be effective in the future.


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