Increased expression of ERCC2 gene in head and neck cancer is associated with aggressive tumors: a systematic review and case-control study

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Abstract

Introduction:

The excision repair cross-complementation group 2 (ERCC2) ATP-dependent helicase is an essential member of the DNA repair pathway. It has been observed to be differentially expressed in different cancers, which shows its involvement in carcinogenesis.

Aim:

In the present study we have tried to determine the association of expression patterns of this gene with head and neck carcinogenesis.

Method:

We first carried out a systematic review of the available studies on the role of ERCC2 in head and neck cancer (HNC). In order to test the hypothesis that the expression patterns of XPD/ERCC2 play a critical role in HNC pathogenesis, we then conducted a population based case-control study on 81 head and neck tumor samples and adjacent normal-tissue control samples. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were used to assess ERCC2 deregulation at the mRNA level.

Result:

Expression analysis showed that the ERCC2 expression level was significantly upregulated (p<0.05) in HNC tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. Furthermore, the expression pattern of ERCC2 was correlated with the expression pattern of Ki-67 and a significant correlation (r = 0.230, p<0.03) was observed between ERCC2 and Ki-67. Spearman's correlation also showed a significant correlation between ERCC2 expression and tumor stage (r = 0.271, p<0.02) and grade (r = 0.228, p<0.02) of HNC.

Conclusions:

Our data suggest that deregulation of ERCC2 in HNC has the potential to predict a more aggressive cancer phenotype and may be considered a possible biomarker for improved diagnosis and prognosis of HNC.

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