J Cancer 2019; 10(19):4540-4551. doi:10.7150/jca.30645 This issue

Research Paper

HOXC10 promotes migration and invasion via the WNT-EMT signaling pathway in oral squamous cell carcinoma

Bo-Wen Dai1*, Zhi-Min Yang1*, Ping Deng2*, Yan-Rong Chen1, Zhi-Jing He1, Xi Yang3, Sheng Zhang1✉, Han-Jiang Wu1✉, Zhen-Hu Ren3✉

1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.
2. Department of Occupational Health, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China
3. Department of Oral Maxillofacial-Head and Neck Oncology, Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
* These authors contributed equally to this work

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Dai BW, Yang ZM, Deng P, Chen YR, He ZJ, Yang X, Zhang S, Wu HJ, Ren ZH. HOXC10 promotes migration and invasion via the WNT-EMT signaling pathway in oral squamous cell carcinoma. J Cancer 2019; 10(19):4540-4551. doi:10.7150/jca.30645. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v10p4540.htm

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As a master regulator of embryonic morphogenesis, homeodomain-containing gene 10 (HOXC10) has been found to promote progression of human cancers and indicate poor survival outcome. Therefore, we concentrate on elucidating the role of HOXC10 in progression of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). In our study, the expression of HOXC10 was significantly increased in human OSCC samples and was significantly correlated with TNM stage and lymph node metastasis. Upregulation of HOXC10 indicated a poor overall survival of OSCC patients according to the Kaplan-Meier survival curves. Furthermore, HOXC10-knockdown dramatically suppressed migration, invasion, and expression of N-Cadherin, Vimentin and Snail, as well as increased E-cadherin level both in vivo and in vitro. Bioinformatics and cellular study further confirmed that HOXC10 may promote invasion and migration of OSCC cells by regulating the WNT/epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) signaling pathway. These findings suggest that HOXC10 plays a pivotal role in the metastasis of OSCC and highlight its usefulness as a potential prognostic marker or therapeutic target in human OSCC.

Keywords: HOXC10, WNT10B, oral squamous cell carcinoma, epithelial-mesenchymal transition