University of Oulu

Vierthaler, M., Rodrigues, P.C., Sundquist, E., Siponen, M., Salo, T., & Risteli, M. (2020). Fluctuating role of antimicrobial peptide hCAP18/LL‑37 in oral tongue dysplasia and carcinoma. Oncology Reports, 44, 325-338.

Fluctuating role of antimicrobial peptide hCAP18/LL‑37 in oral tongue dysplasia and carcinoma

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Author: Vierthaler, Marlene1; Rodrigues, Priscila Campioni1; Sundquist, Elias1;
Organizations: 1Cancer Research and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine; Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, FI‑90014 Oulu, Finland
2Institute of Dentistry, University of Eastern Finland, FI‑70211; Oral Health Teaching Clinic, Kuopio University Hospital, FI‑70029 Kuopio
3Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki, and Helsinki University Central Hospital, FI‑00014; HUSLAB, Department of Pathology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, University of Helsinki, FI‑00029 Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Spandidos Publications, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-11-11


Oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC), the most common cancer in the oral cavity, is aggressive and its incidence is increasing globally. Human host defense cationic antimicrobial peptide‑18/antimicrobial peptide leucine‑leucine‑37 (hCAP18/LL‑37) plays a complex role in various types of cancers. In the present study, we characterized the effects of exogenous LL‑37 on three OTSCC cell lines and determined the expression of hCAP18/LL‑37 in oral dysplastic and OTSCC patient samples. Our data revealed that LL‑37, especially in high doses, mostly reduced the proliferation of OTSCC cells, but the effect was fluctuating. However, LL‑37 stimulated the migration and invasion of OTSCC cells. The high dose of LL‑37 also increased the amount of total epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) probably due to stabilization of the receptor to the plasma membrane. However, activation of EGFR downstream pathways was mostly decreased. Our immunohistochemical analysis showed that the hCAP18/LL‑37 expression was higher in normal/mild dysplasia than in moderate/severe dysplasia and OTSCC. The hCAP18/LL‑37 expression did not correlate with clinicopathological features or outcome of OTSCC patients. Our data suggest that LL‑37 has a fluctuating effect on proliferation, migration and invasion of OTSCC cells, but it does not seem to play a role in the progression of OTSCC.

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Series: Oncology reports
ISSN: 1021-335X
ISSN-E: 1791-2431
ISSN-L: 1021-335X
Volume: 44
Issue: 1
Pages: 325 - 338
DOI: 10.3892/or.2020.7609
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
Funding: The present study was supported by research grants from the Bayer Foundation, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the Cancer Foundation of Finland, the Medical Research Center Oulu, and research funds from the Medical Faculty of the University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital special state support for research.
Copyright information: © Spandidos Publications 2020.