Expression of polysialic acid in primary laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma

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Expression of polySia is associated with metastatic dissemination and progression of various malignant diseases. In particular, it may contribute to tumorigenesis by a negative modulatory effect on cellular signaling cascades responsible for cellular migration, differentiation and proliferation. In this study, we investigated the expression of polySia in primary metastatic and non-metastatic laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) tumor tissues and its potential impact on the LSCC progression.

Main methods:

The expression of polySia in metastatic and non-metastatic primary laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) tumor biopsy specimens was investigated by immunohistochemistry, while the expression of polysialyltransferase IV (ST8SiaIV)(), fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1), extracellular signal regulated kinases 1 and 2 (Erk 1/2) and c-Raf was tested in metastatic and non-metastatic primary tumor tissues (including the corresponding non-tumor control tissues) by Western blot analysis.

Key findings:

The expression of polySia was detected in LSCC biopsies specimens with generally stronger immunoreactivity in non-metastatic tumor LSCC sections and in histologically undifferentiated tumors. Also, increased polySia expression was observed in adjacent histologically unaltered laryngeal tumor-associated tissue of the metastatic sections. In addition, we provide an evidence of increased polysialyltransferase IV (ST8SiaIV) expression, involved in polySia synthesis in both metastatic and non-metastatic primary tumors which is accompanied by decreased levels of FGFR1, Erk 1/2 and c-Raf.


We present for the first time the evidence for the polySia expression in LSCC biopsies specimens which suggests its potential impact on initial steps of LSCC malignant transformation.

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