A novel CD44 v3 isoform is involved in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma progression

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001 Apr;124(4):426-32. doi: 10.1067/mhn.2001.114674.


Objectives: CD44 comprises a family of isoforms involved in tumorigenesis. Here we investigate the role of CD44 isoforms in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) progression.

Materials and methods: HNSCC specimens underwent reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) followed by Southern blot analysis. After surface biotinylation, FaDu (hypopharyngeal HNSCC) and CD44v3-transfected COS-7 cells were CD44 antibody-precipitated and compared by Western blot analysis. FaDu cells underwent double immunofluorescence staining and growth assays.

Results: Southern blot analysis suggested differential CD44v3 isoform expression in tumor and normal tissue. Cloning and sequencing revealed 2 novel CD44v isoforms. Western blot analysis suggested CD44v3 expression in COS-7 transfectants and FaDu. Double immunofluorescence staining revealed co-localization of CD44v3 and actin in FaDu projections. Anti-CD44v3 antibody decreased FaDu growth.

Conclusion: HNSCC tissue and FaDu appear to express CD44v3 isoforms. These isoforms may promote tumorigenesis.

Clinical significance: CD44v3 isoforms may be effective tumor markers and targets for HNSCC therapy.

Publication types

  • 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

  • Blotting, Southern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Disease Progression
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / genetics*
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • CD44V3,8-10
  • DNA Primers
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • Protein Isoforms