0123 Correlation of VEGF and HIF-1 alpha Expression in Human Oral Cancer Cell Lines
K.M. MOHAMED1, H.M. FALLAH1, A. LE2, and D. MESSADI3, 1UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2University of California, Los Angeles, USA, 3University of California, USA

The switch to the angiogenic phenotype represents a critical checkpoint during tumor progression. The transcription factor hypoxia-Inducible factor [HIF]-1 alpha is an important mediator of hypoxic adaptation of tumor cells thus controlling several genes involved in tumor angiogenesis such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Objective: This study investigates the effect of hypoxia on both [HIF]-1 alpha and VEGF expression and the correlation of both these molecules, in normal human oral keratinocytes and oral cancer cell lines. Methods: Oral cancer cell lines [Cal33, SCC-4 & SCC-9] and normal oral human keratinocytes [NHOK] were grown in normoxia (20% O2, 5%-CO2) and hypoxia (2% O2-5%CO2). Immunocytochemial analysis was performed on Nunc Lab-Tek chamber slides to analyze the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF] and hypoxia-Inducible factor [HIF]-1 alpha. Comparative analysis of VEGF and [HIF]-1 alpha expression in these oral cancer cell lines was examined using Western and Northern analysis. Results: 1) Hypoxia up-regulated VEGF and [HIF]-1 alpha at both transcriptional and translational levels. 2) Higher levels of VEGF and [HIF]-1 alpha were expressed in cancer cells as compared to NHOK. 3) A parallel increase in VEGF and [HIF]-1 alpha is apparent in all the oral cancer cell lines studied as compared to normal keratinocytes. Conclusion: These findings suggest that [HIF]-1 alpha may play an essential role in the hypoxia-induced upregulation of VEGF expression and subsequent tumor progression in oral carcinogensis.

Seq #21 - Carcinogenesis - Studies of Epithelial Cell Biology
2:00 PM-4:00 PM, Wednesday, 6 March 2002 San Diego Convention Center Room 15A (Mezzanine Level)

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