Relationship between soluble MICA and the MICA A5.1 homozygous genotype in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma

Clin Immunol. 2009 Mar;130(3):331-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2008.09.004. Epub 2008 Oct 23.


NK and cytotoxic T cells play an important role in the elimination of virus-infected and tumor cells through NKG2D activating receptors, which can promote the lysis of target cells by binding to the major histocompatibility complex class I-related chain A (MICA) proteins. Polymorphisms in MICA may influence its binding to the NKG2D. The soluble form of MICA is released from the surface of tumor cells of epithelial origin. Whereas MICA expressed on the cell surface stimulates the immunoreceptor natural killer group 2, member D (NKG2D), the secreted form down-regulates NKG2D activity, thus allowing the tumor to escape immunosurveillance by NKG2D-expressing cells. In this study, we examined the association between MICA gene microsatellite polymorphisms and serum levels of soluble MICA in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). We found that patients with OSCC were more likely to have the A5.1 allele when compared to healthy subjects and also more likely to be homozygous for this allele (p=0.041). Patients with the homozygous A5.1 genotype had higher levels of soluble MICA (p=0.031) and a lower survival rate (p=0.026).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / physiopathology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / genetics
  • Mouth Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Solubility


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • MHC class I-related chain A