Cathepsin-B and caveolin-1 gene expressions in oral lichen planus and oral squamous cell carcinoma

Mol Biol Rep. 2022 Apr;49(4):2945-2951. doi: 10.1007/s11033-022-07115-8. Epub 2022 Feb 9.


Background: Given the importance of the role of cellular changes in the prognosis and diagnosis of malignancies of the head and neck, we examined in this study the gene expressions of cathepsin-B (Cat-B) and caveolin-1 (Cav-1) which are in cell membranes structures involved in carcinogenesis, in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and oral lichen planus (OLP) and compared them to controls. We also investigated their relationship to clinicopathological indices.

Methods and results: In this case-control study, 29 paraffin blocks of OLP patients were compared to 29 paraffin blocks of OSCC samples as well as 28 paraffin blocks of normal oral tissue. Real-time quantitative PCR was performed to determine gene expressions and results were analyzed for their relationship to clinical data using chi-square, Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests.

Results: The mean age of OSCC and OLP patients were 59.24 ± 15.04 and 48.79 ± 14.17 years, respectively. The Cat-B and Cav-1 expressions were significantly higher in OSCC and OLP samples compared to control (p < 0.001). The highest expression was found in OSCC samples. The difference between OLP and control samples for Cat-B and Cav-1 expression was significant. There was no association between the gene expression and age, gender, duration of disease, Thongprasom score, smoking and cutaneous lichen planus. However, the expressions were related to the grade and stage of OSCC samples (P = 0.01, P = 0.02).

Conclusion: The gene expressions of Cat-B and Cav-1 in OSCC were associated with the stage and grade of lesions. Therefore, they appear to be useful in predicting the biological behavior of OSCC and malignant transformation of OLP, although this process is multi factorial and more investigations are needed.

Keywords: Cathepsin-B; Caveolin-1; OSCC; Oral lichen planus; Real-time PCR.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Caveolin 1 / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Lichen Planus, Oral* / metabolism
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck


  • Caveolin 1