Document Type : Research Articles
Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, University of Cartagena Cartagena, Colombia.
Department of Genetics, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia.
Pharmacology and Therapeutic Group, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Cartagena, Health Science Campus, Colombia.
Introduction: Leukoplakia is one of the most frequently found lesions in the oral cavity, with a probability of 17 to 24% of becoming malignant cells in a period of 30 years. Objective: To identify differentially expressed gene profiles of leukoplakia and its progression to oral squamous cell carcinoma, essential for the discovery of new biomarkers to predict and prevent the presence of diseases in the oral cavity. Methods: Initially, gene profiles of GSE85514 and GSE160042 from the Gene Expression Omnibus database were used. Differentially expressed genes were identified using GEO2R. The CLUEGO plugin in Cytoscape was used for DEG functionality and enrichment analysis. Finally, a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed using Cytoscape from data collected online from the STRING server. Results: According to the MCC algorithm, the 10 most found gene sequences were HNRNPU, SMC1A, PAFAH1B1, EHMT1, SPTBN4, OLFM1, NCAM1, SF3B3, FGF2, and UBE2I; with HNRNPU, SMC1A, and PAFAH1B1 being the most representative of the modules. Conclusions: We were able to describe the gene sequences that promote the progression from leukoplakia to oral squamous cell carcinoma. Within these genes, the HNRNPU, SMC1A, and PAFAH1B1 constitute the main promising therapeutic targets to counteract the progression of oral cancer, they could also be important biomarkers for the diagnosis and classification of the disease.