Tumor suppressor genes that reduce metastatic potential have been described in a variety of different tumor types. One of the main tumor metastasis suppressor genes is nm-23, which is a nucleoside diphosphate kinase. Two isotypes, nm-23H1 and nm-23H2, have been cloned and map to chromosome 17q21.3. In a variety of tumors, including colon cancer and breast cancer, loss of expression of nm-23 is associated with lymph node metastasis. In other organ systems, however, this relationship is not seen. In head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC), there have been conflicting results regarding the association between nm-23 protein expression and metastatic potential. To further explore the tumor metastasis suppressor function of nm-23 in HNSCC, we studied high-stage laryngeal carcinomas, tumors with and without cervical lymph node metastasis for nm-23 protein expression and loss of heterozygosity of the gene locus. Twenty-five cases were included (11 cases with and 14 cases without metastasis). Loss of heterozygosity for the nm-23 gene locus was seen in 7 of 22 (32%) informative tumors. Using immunohistochemistry, most tumors expressed nm-23, though decreased expression was seen in 10 of 25 (40%) cases. Only 2 tumors showed negative expression. We did not find a correlation between either protein expression or loss of heterozygosity with metastatic disease or any other adverse prognostic factors in this group of high-stage laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas. These data imply that nm-23 may be tumor suppressor gene involved in HNSCC but that it may not function as a tumor metastasis suppressor in high-stage laryngeal carcinoma.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/hina_sheikh_lvh/11/