Epithelial-mesenchymal axis in head and neck cancer cell lines

Arutha Kulasinghe, Chris Perry, Glen M Boyle, Ken O'Byrne, Anthony Davies, Lidija Jovanovic, Colleen Nelson, Chamindie Punyadeera


Objectives: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a heterogeneous tumour type which necessitates multiple invitro models to attain an appreciation of its multiple subtypes. The phenomenon of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) isimportant to the development of a metastatic cancer cell phenotype being relevant to the ability of cancer cells to intravasate intovasculature and to invade tissues. The role of EMT in human papilloma virus (HPV) positive HNSCC is not well understood. Thispaper aims to characterize seven HNSCC cell lines (FaDu, SCC-25, SCC-15, CAL27, RPMI2650) including two new HPV-16positive HNSCC cell lines (UD-SCC2, 93-VU-147T) for their epithelial and mesenchymal properties.

Materials and methods: A panel of HNSCC cell lines from multiple head and neck anatomical sites were profiled for basalexpression of epithelial and mesenchymal characteristics at mRNA, protein and functional levels (proliferative, migratory andinvasive properties). Furthermore, 3D spheroid forming capabilities were investigated.

Results: We found that the HPV-16 positive cell line, in particular UD-SCC2 demonstrated a more invasive and mesenchymalphenotype at the molecular and functional levels suggesting HPV infection may mediate some of these cellular properties.Moreover, HPV-negative cell lines were not strictly epithelial presenting with a dynamic range of expression.

Conclusions: This study presents the molecular and phenotypic diversity of HNSCC cell lines. It highlights the need formore studies in this field and a scoring system where HNSCC cell lines are ranked according to their respective epithelial andmesenchymal nature. This data will be useful to anyone modelling HNSCC behaviour, providing a molecular context which willenable them to decipher cell phenotypes and to develop therapies which block EMT progression.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jst.v6n1p28

Journal of Solid Tumors

ISSN 1925-4067(Print)   ISSN 1925-4075(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'Sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.