Salivary zinc finger protein 510 peptide as a novel biomarker for detection of oral squamous cell carcinoma in early stages

Clin Chim Acta. 2011 Jul 15;412(15-16):1357-65. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2011.04.004. Epub 2011 Apr 8.


Background: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is one of the most frequent malignancies worldwide. Early diagnosis can mean adequate treatment and increase survival.

Methods: This study uses ClinProt technique to identify salivary biomarkers for early diagnosis of OSCC. A total of 77 salivary samples from both OSCC patients (n=47) and healthy donors (n=30) were analyzed with MALDI-TOF MS technology.

Results: Salivary peptides from OSCC patients were separated, using C8-functionalized magnetic beads. Three signals (2918.57 Da, 5592.64 Da, and 4372.66 Da) distinguished OSCC patients from controls. Among them, unique peptide 2918.57 Da, identified as a 24-mer peptide of zinc finger protein 510 (ZNF510), was found in 0% of saliva from healthy individuals, versus 25.0% and 60% from OSCC patients with T1+T2 and T3+T4 stages, respectively (P<0.001). ELISA analysis with rabbit anti-ZNF510 peptide sera shows a starkly higher 24-mer ZNF510 peptide level in saliva from OSCC patients than that in controls (P<0.001). Also, in immunohistochemical analysis of oral tissues, a significantly higher level of ZNF510 was observed in OSCC tissues than in the OSCC free control tissues. Analysis of areas under receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves in OSCC early (T1+T2) and late stages (T3+T4) shows greater than 0.95.

Conclusions: Identifying 24-mer ZNF510 peptide as OSCC-related salivary biomarkers via proteomic approach proved useful in adjunct diagnosis for early detection rather than specific diagnosis marker for progression of OSCC patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Salivary Glands / chemistry*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • zinc finger protein 510, human