Overexpression of HURP mRNA in head and neck carcinoma and association with in vitro response to vinorelbine

Ahmed S K Al-Khafaji, Paschalia Pantazi, Amelia Acha-Sagredo, Andrew Schache, Janet M Risk, Richard J Shaw, Triantafillos Liloglou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


HURP gene encodes the hepatoma upregulated protein (HURP), a microtubule associated protein regulating mitotic spindle dynamics, which promotes chromosomal congression and alignment during mitosis, with a potential role in tumorigenesis. In the present study, HURP mRNA expression was investigated by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Primary OPSCC tumors from 107 patients and 48 adjacent normal tissues, as well as 12 respiratory tract cancer cell lines (9 head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, 2 lung cancer and 1 normal bronchial) were utilised in the present study. mRNA expression levels of HURP were higher in malignant OPSCC tissues compared with in normal mucosa (P<1×10-5) and significantly associated with sex and smoking status (P<0.0001). Vinorelbine in vitro toxicity at half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) was measured in the 11 cancer cell lines using an MTT assay. Sensitivity to vinorelbine was significantly correlated with HURP expression (r=0.636; P=0.035). The data indicated that HURP overexpression is frequent in OPSCC tissues and associated with smoking. The correlation between HURP mRNA expression and vinorelbine in vitro response suggests that HURP is a potential modulator of vinorelbine response; therefore, it should be explored for its possible predictive value for the efficiency of vinorelbine treatment in this type of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2502-2507
Number of pages6
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


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