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NRP2, a potential biomarker for oral squamous cell carcinoma

  • Kang, Yuanyuan
  • Zhang, Yuanyuan
  • Zhang, Ying
  • Sun, Yan
Published Article
American journal of translational research
Madison, WI : e-Century Pub. Corp.
Publication Date
Aug 15, 2021
PMID: 34540006
PMCID: PMC8430140
PubMed Central
  • Original Article


Background: Neuropilin-2 (NRP2) is a single chain transmembrane glycoprotein that acts as a co-receptor of VEGF and is related to the pathogenesis of various tumors closely. However, the clinical significance of NRP2 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is unclear. Purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the role of NRP2 in the pathogenesis of OSCC and explore the associated mechanisms. Materials and methods: GEPIA (gene expression profiling interactive analysis) was used to analyze the expression of NRP2 in OSCC. Immunohistochemistry and RT-qPCR were used to detect NRP2 expression in 80 OSCC samples. The clinical correlations and prognostic significance of NRP2 expression were evaluated. In addition, the biological functions of OSCC cells transfected with shNRP2 were evaluated. The expression levels of β-catenin, C-myc, cyclin D1, and MMP-2 in Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway were assessed by RT-qPCR after inhibiting the expression of NRP2 in SCC-25 cell line. Results: Analysis of cases using GEPIA revealed that NRP2 was substantially upregulated in OSCC. NRP2 expression was also significantly higher in our OSCC samples than in the controls. Elevated expression of NRP2 was correlated with lymph node metastasis ( P <0.01) and distant metastasis ( P <0.05) in OSCC patients, and high NRP2 levels, lymph node metastasis, and distant metastasis were associated with poor prognosis (Kaplan-Meier analysis; P <0.05). Univariate and multivariate Cox analysis showed that lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, and NRP2 expression were independent risk factors for overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in OSCC patients ( P <0.05). Furthermore, the proliferation, migration, and invasion of OSCC cells were inhibited by shNRP2. Following inhibiting of NRP2 expression in the SCC-25 cell line, the expression levels of β-catenin, C-myc, cyclin D1, and MMP-2 were reduced ( P <0.05). Conclusion: This study shows that NRP2 functions as a tumor promoter gene in OSCC by affecting the proliferation, migration, and invasion of OSCC cells and downregulating the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. These results highlight the potential role for NRP2 as a clinical diagnostic marker.

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