Overexpression of c-Src in areas of hyperproliferation in head and neck cancer, premalignant lesions and benign mucosal disorders

J Oral Pathol Med. 1998 Apr;27(4):147-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.1998.tb01931.x.


To examine which proteins are responsible for the elevated protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) activity in human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and adjacent histologically normal epithelium, paraffin embedded sections of these tissues were stained for PTK c-Src. Using double labeling techniques and antibodies against both the proliferation marker Ki-67 and PTK c-Src, we have shown that c-Src is overexpressed in areas of hyperproliferation in HNSCC, dysplastic epithelium, benign papillomas and inflamed normal tissue. Our data indicate that c-Src is (one of) the protein(s) responsible for the increased PTK activity in HNSCC. We could not demonstrate that c-Src expression is responsible for the increased PTK activity in normal epithelium adjacent to tumour tissue. We assume that c-Src plays a role in the increased proliferation seen in (pre)malignant and benign epithelial lesions as well as in reactive inflammatory epithelial hyperplasia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Epithelium / enzymology
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, src / genetics*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Ki-67 Antigen / analysis
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Diseases / enzymology
  • Mouth Diseases / genetics*
  • Mouth Mucosa / enzymology
  • Mouth Mucosa / metabolism
  • Papilloma / enzymology
  • Papilloma / genetics
  • Precancerous Conditions / enzymology
  • Precancerous Conditions / genetics*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Stomatitis / enzymology
  • Stomatitis / genetics


  • Antibodies
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases