Claudin 1 overexpression increases invasion and is associated with aggressive histological features in oral squamous cell carcinoma

Patricia Pintor Dos Reis, Rikki R. Bharadwaj, Jerry Machado, Christina MacMillan, Melania Pintilie, Mahadeo A. Sukhai, Bayardo Perez-Ordonez, Patrick Gullane, Jonathan Irish, Suzanne Kamel-Reid*, Natalie Naranjo Galloni, Jeremy Freeman, Jonathan Clark, Jason Franklin, Dale Brown, Ralph Gilbert, Abderrahman Ouban, Rashmi S. Goswami, Reidar Grenman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND. The authors have previously shown that overexpression of claudin 1 (CLDN1) is associated with advanced disease stage in oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs). Their goal was to examine CLDN1 expression in a large series of primary OSCCs and to further investigate whether CLDN1 overexpression plays a role in invasion in OSCC. METHODS. CLDN1 gene expression levels were determined by quantitative realtime reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR) in 100 primary OSCCs. CLDN1 protein expression was examined by immunohistochemistry in 70 of 100 OSCCs. E-Cadherin protein levels were also assessed in 58 OSCCs. The authors performed a transwell Matrigel invasion assay for assessment of the invasive potential of CLDN1 overexpressing oral carcinoma cells. Western blotting and QRT-PCR were used to assess CLDN1 expression in transfected cells and controls. RESULTS. CLDN1 mRNA was increased (median = 18.5) in 79 of 100 OSCCs, compared with normal oral mucosa (expression = 1.0). CLDN1 overexpression was associated with angiolymphatic (P =.037) and perineural invasion (P 5.051). CLDN1 was highly expressed in 48 of 70 (68%) OSCCs. E-Cadherin was lost or underexpressed in 49 of 58 (84%) OSCCs. The invasion assay showed that cells overexpressing CLDN1 have increased invasive potential, whereas small interfering RNA-mediated depletion of CLDN1 decreased the invasive potential of cells. CONCLUSIONS. CLDN1 overexpression is associated with angiolymphatic and perineural invasion, consistent with aggressive tumor behavior. Overexpression of CLDN1 protein is associated with increased invasiveness of oral carcinoma cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3169-3180
Number of pages12
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell invasion
  • Claudin 1
  • Oral carcinoma
  • Tight junction

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