Background: The cyclin B1/CDC2 complex governs entry into mitosis by regulating the G(2)/M checkpoint, and it can be repressed by the tumor suppressor p53. We aimed to determine cyclin B1 expression in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SCCHN) and correlate it with p53 status and clinicopathological parameters.
Patients and methods: Cyclin B1 and p53 protein expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry, and p53 mutation analyses were performed.
Results: Cytoplasmic expression of cyclin B1 was found in all 26 SCCHN studied. In contrast, nuclear staining was seen in the basal layers of normal mucosa. A total of 46% of tumors showed high cyclin B1 expression. p53 was overexpressed in 53.8% of cases, and of these 79% carried a p53 gene mutation. High cyclin B1 expression significantly correlated with the high tumor grade, but not with gender, tumor size, nodal status, local tumor recurrence or p53 expression.
Conclusion: Cyclin B1 is frequently overexpressed in SCCHN, and its high expression is significantly associated with a high tumor grade. These data suggest that cyclin B1 may serve as a potential prognostic biomarker in SCCHN.