Sangeetha Narasimhan, Malathi Narasimhan, Shishir Ram Shetty, Sharada T Rajan, Sausan Al Kawas, Vijaya Nirmala Subramani

Analyzing the Expression of MicroRNA-375 and its Target Gene p53 in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma and its Implication in Oral Carcinogenesis

  • Pharmacology

Objective: Oral mucosal cancers are the 11th most common human malignancies worldwide with a five-year survival rate of ≤50%. The lacunae of reliable diagnostic and prognostic markers pose an enormous challenge to the timely identification and prediction of disease progression in oral cancer. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are emerging molecular markers associated with cancer initiation, progression, and therapy. The present study evaluated the microRNA -375(miR-375) expression and its target p53 gene in Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) to validate its utility as a diagnostic marker of the disease. Patients and Methods: This case-control study targeted histopathologically diagnosed cases of OSCC. miR-375 was quantified from 22 cases of OSCC and corresponding control tissues using qRT-PCR. Mutant p53 expression in cases and controls was determined by subjecting the tissues to immunohistochemical Results: Significant downregulation of miR-375 was noted in OSCC tissues (68.1%) compared to the control tissues with a mean fold change of 83.9 (p<0.05). Significant downregulation of miR-375 was noted in Paan and tobacco chewing patients (77.8%). Men exhibited considerable downregulation compared to women (p<0.05). The miR-375 expression levels did not correlate with the patient’s age, location, size, nodal status, and histopathological grade of the tumor. About 63.6 % of OSCC tissues showed mutant p53 positivity. Mutant p53 expression was noted in 73.3% of miR-375 downregulated tumors. Smokers exhibited higher expression of mutant p53 contrary to non-smokers(p<0.00). P53 immunopositivity showed a correlation with tumor size, histopathological grade, and nodal metastasis. Conclusion: The findings of the study indicate that miR-375 downregulation may have a crucial effect on oral carcinogenesis by targeting p53. miR-375 should be further evaluated as a potential marker for oral cancer diagnosis.

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