Objective: The goal of this study was to determine the genes required for head and neck cancer development. Study Design and Setting: Differential mRNA display analysis was performed using human papillomavirus Type-16 infected immortalized human oral keratinocytes (HOK-16B) and its benzo(a)pyrene-exposed tumorigenic derivative (HOK-16B-BaP-T). Results: Twenty-one differentially expressed cDNA clones were identified between the 2 cell lines. Clone 4 with no known homology showed lower expression in tumorigenic cells compared with either normal or immortalized oral keratinocytes. Clone 6 expression was elevated in several head and neck cancer cells, in addition to Burkitt's lymphoma Raji harboring latent Epstein-Barr virus. Conclusion: These findings suggested that clone 6 may be involved in the oncogenic transformation whereas clone 4 may potentially function as a tumor suppressor gene. Significance: Differential mRNA analysis using the in vitro oral carcinogenesis model may help to identify important genetic markers for the early detection and progression of head and neck cancer.
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