Coexpression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and glucose transporter-1 is associated with poor prognosis in oral squamous cell carcinoma patients

Authors


  • A.W.E and M.H.W.L contributed equally to this work.

A W Eckert, MD, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Plastic Surgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, E.-Grube-Str. 40, D-06120 Halle, Germany. e-mail: helge.taubert@medizin.uni-halle.de

Abstract

Eckert A W, Lautner M H W, Schütze A, Taubert H, Schubert J & Bilkenroth U

(2011) Histopathology58, 1136–1147

Coexpression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and glucose transporter-1 is associated with poor prognosis in oral squamous cell carcinoma patients

Aims:  To study whether coexpression of the two hypoxia-related proteins hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and glucose transporter (GLUT)-1 has prognostic relevance in oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs).

Methods and results:  Eighty-two OSCC samples were analysed for expression levels of HIF-1α and GLUT-1 by immunohistochemistry. Protein expression was assessed with an immunoreactive score system, and the correlations between gene expression and both clinical and pathohistological parameters were examined. Overexpression of either GLUT-1 or HIF-1α was associated with poor disease-specific survival in OSCC patients. Multivariate Cox proportional-hazards regression analysis revealed that increased expression of HIF-1α was significantly associated with disease-specific survival (relative risk = 3.24, P = 0.024), as compared with the group with a low level of expression. Coexpression of HIF-1α and GLUT-1 was additively and significantly associated with adverse prognoses in patients with OSCC. Patients whose tumours had increased levels of expression of both HIF-1α and GLUT-1 were found to have a 5.13-fold increased risk of tumour-related death (P = 0.017).

Conclusions:  Coexpression of high levels of HIF-1α and GLUT-1 is significantly correlated with prognosis in OSCC patients, suggesting that the coexpression of these proteins can be used as both an early diagnostic and independent prognostic marker.

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