The Association of Ketolytic Enzymes Gene Expression Levels with Mitochondrial Activity and Content in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Recent studies have pointed to the anti-tumour effects of a ketogenic diet (KD) in cancer. It is believed that patients with low ketolytic Enzymes gene expression levels are more sensitive and may respond better to the KD therapy. However, the ketolytic Enzymes gene expression levels and their association with mitochondrial activity and content in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is not yet obvious. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the potential use of ketolytic enzymes as biomarkers for mitochondrial activity and content. Materials and Methods: Here we aimed to compare the mRNA expression levels of ketolytic enzymes (ACAT1, BDH1, BDH2 and OXCT1) between tumour and adjacent pre-tumor tissues of 16 OSCC patients. Additionally, we examined the association of the mitochondrial ketolytic enzymes, including ACAT1, OXCT1, and BDH1 gene expression with mitochondrial activity and content. Results: Our findings did not show any significant difference in ketolytic gene expression levels between tumour and pre-tumor tissues of OSCC patients. ACAT1 and BDH1 mRNA expression levels were significantly correlated with the mRNA level of ND2 in tumour of OSCC patients. The mRNA levels of ACAT1, BDH1 and BDH2 were not correlated with the mRNA expression of 16srRNA. Conclusion: Our data suggest that mRNA gene expression levels of BDH1 and ACAT1 correlate with the mitochondrial activity in tumour of OSCC patients. BDH2 mRNA level significantly anti-correlate with tumour grade. We offer clues on the potential of ACAT1 as a biomarker of mitochondrial activity, but future studies are needed to establish this concept.


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