Low microsatellite instability and high loss of heterozygosity rates indicate dominant role of the suppressor pathway in squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck and loss of heterozygosity of 11q14.3 correlates with tumor grade

Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2003 Oct 1;146(1):27-32. doi: 10.1016/s0165-4608(03)00109-2.


Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and microsatellite instability (MSI) have been recognized as important events in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC), suggesting involvement of both suppressor and mutator pathways. We analyzed 153 HNSCC with 8 Bethesda reference panel markers and 14 microsatellite markers selected from chromosomal regions known to harbor either tumor-suppressor genes or oncogenes. A combination of multiplex fluorescence-based polymerase chain reaction and automatic fragment analysis was performed. LOH was observed in 78% of all tumors. 2% to 17% LOH frequency was observed with Bethesda reference panel markers comparing to higher 8% to 48% LOH in chromosomal areas 3p, 9p, 11q, and 17p. LOH of 11q14.3 correlated with tumor grade. The proportions of high- and low-MSI tumors were 3% and 10%, respectively, but no mutation was identified in MLH1 and MSH2 mismatch repair genes. These results indicate the dominant role of the suppressor in comparison with the mutator pathway in HNSCC carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / physiopathology
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 11*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Loss of Heterozygosity*
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats*
  • Middle Aged
  • MutL Protein Homolog 1
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Carrier Proteins
  • MLH1 protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • MutL Protein Homolog 1