Relative Expression of OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Versus Adjacent Non- Tumor Tissue

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Faculty of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.

2 Dental Research Center, Dentistry Research Institute,Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Pathology, Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Iran National Tumor Bank, Cancer Institute, Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Objective: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) accounts for over 90% of oral neoplasms. Finding molecular
markers for predicting prognosis is a high priority. The core transcription factors, OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG that
regulate embryonic stem cell pluripotency have been implicated in progression of various malignancies. The predictive
value of these markers and their role in the development of OSCC is still controversial. In this study, we therefore
evaluated their expression in OSCCs and adjacent non-tumor tissue. Methods: A total of 60 frozen tumor and adjacent
non-tumor tissue samples from 30 patients with OSCC were examined using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase
chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Clinical and pathological data of patients including tumor stage, lymph node metastasis
and tumor grade were also recorded. Results: Expression of SOX2 was significantly higher in adjacent non-tumor as
compared to tumor tissue (P=0.04). No statistically significant differences were found for expression of OCT4 (P=0.50)
and NANOG (P=0.68). Also, there was no significant association between expression of OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG
and clinical or pathological data (P>0.05), although slightly higher values were noted in patients without lymph node
metastasis. Conclusion: Based on the present data, decreased expression of SOX2 is correlated with carcinogenesis
in the oral cavity and development of OSCC.


Main Subjects