Human Genetics Laboratory, Sree Balaji Medical and Dental College and Hospital, Bharath University, Narayanapuram, Pallikaranai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Background: Early detection of malignant transformation with expression biomarkers has significant potential to improve the survival rate of patients as such biomarkers enable prediction of progression and assess sensitivity to chemotherapy. The expression of interferon inducible transmembrane protein 1 (IFITM1) has been associated with early invasion events in several carcinomas, including head and neck cancers, and hence has been proposed as a novel candidate biomarker. As the incidence of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is highest in the Indian population, we sought to investigate: 1) the expression pattern of IFITM1 in OSCC tissue samples obtained from Indian patients of Dravidian origin; and 2) the possibility of using IFITM1 expression as a potential biomarker. Materials and Methods: Total RNA extracted from thirty eight OSCC biopsy samples was subjected to semi-quantitative RT-PCR with IFITM1 and GAPDH specific primers. Results: Of the thirty eight OSCC samples that were analyzed, IFITM1 overexpression was identified in fifteen (39%). Seven expressed a low level, while the remainder expressed high level of IFITM1. Conclusions: The overexpression of IFITM1 in OSCC samples indicates that IFITM1 may be explored for the possibility of use as a high confidence diagnostic biomarker in oral cancers. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that IFITM1 overexpression is being reported in Indian OSCC samples.