Different Expression Patterns of Beta-Defensins in Human Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Anticancer Res. Nov-Dec 2003;23(6C):4629-33.


The expression of human beta-defensin genes in oral squamous cell carcinomas(SCCs) was demonstrated by in situ hybridization. The expression of HBD-2 was observed not only in the inflamed lesions with bacterial infection but also in the non-inflamed carcinomas themselves (evident in 15 out of 20 carcinomas). However, HBD-3 expression was found in only 4 out of 20 SCCs. In the normal oral epithelia, the expression of HBD-2 and HBD-3 was only detected in the areas adjacent to the SCCs. These results suggest that HBD-2 might play a role in SCCs, which is different from the native defensive role of these proteins. HBD-2 may lead to the death of normal keratinocytes adjacent to the SCCs, which might, in turn, indirectly assist in the multiplication of tumor cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • beta-Defensins / genetics*


  • DEFB103A protein, human
  • DEFB4A protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • beta-Defensins