Antisense oligonucleotides against protein kinase CK2-alpha inhibit growth of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in vitro

Head Neck. 2000 Jul;22(4):341-6. doi: 10.1002/1097-0347(200007)22:4<341::aid-hed5>;2-3.


Background: Human squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SCCHN) overexpress the protein kinase CK2, and elevated CK2 activity correlates with aggressive tumor behavior and poor clinical outcome. We therefore investigated whether interference with CK2 expression would inhibit SCCHN cell growth in vitro.

Methods: We targeted the catalytic (alpha) subunit of CK2 using an antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) strategy. Human Ca9-22 cells derived from SCCHN were transfected with CK2-alpha sense, nonsense, or antisense ODN; CK2 activity was measured; and the effect on CK2 activity and on cell growth was determined.

Results: Transfection of Ca9-22 cells with antisense CK2-alpha ODN resulted in significantly decreased CK2 kinase activity associated with nuclear chromatin and in dose-dependent growth inhibition of Ca9-22 cells in vitro.

Conclusions: Interference with the protein kinase CK2 signal in SCCHN cells may offer a novel anticancer strategy for this malignancy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / enzymology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • Casein Kinase II
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Codon, Nonsense
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Down-Regulation
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Gene Expression / genetics
  • Gingival Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Gingival Neoplasms / genetics
  • Gingival Neoplasms / therapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy
  • Humans
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / genetics
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / pharmacology*
  • Probability
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / biosynthesis
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Codon, Nonsense
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • Casein Kinase II
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases