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March 1997

Nuclear Matrix Proteins as Malignant Markers in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (Drs McCaffery, Gapany, Faust, Adams, and Ahmed), Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (Dr Ahmed), and the University Cancer Center, University of Minnesota (Drs Gapany, Adams, and Ahmed); and the Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Drs Faust and Ahmed and Mr Davis), Minneapolis, Minn.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(3):283-288. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900030057007

Objective:  To test the hypothesis that transformation of normal upper aerodigestive mucosa to squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) is associated with specific changes in nuclear matrix (NM) proteins.

Design:  Retrospective, nonrandomized investigation using a cellular fractionation sequence followed by 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis of NM proteins.

Subjects:  Nuclear matrix proteins were extracted from a cohort of 12 pathologic SCCHN specimens and 5 normal specimens of oropharyngeal mucosa.

Results:  All SCCHN specimens examined expressed 11 NM proteins that were not detected in normal mucosa. Conversely, at least 4 NM proteins that were expressed by all specimens of normal mucosa were absent from all SCCHN tumors. Seven NM proteins were common to carcinomas and normal specimens. Spindle cell histological variants of squamous cell carcinoma had distinct NM patterns.

Conclusions:  Malignant transformation of normal upper aerodigestive mucosa to SCCHN is associated with specific changes in NM composition. These data suggest that different NM proteins might serve as specific tumor markers.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:283-288