Molecular medicine reports

Sprouty2 protein is downregulated in human squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and suppresses cell proliferation in vitro.

PMID 25333206


Sprouty2 is known for its tumor-suppressing effect in various human malignant diseases. In head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), the role of sprouty2 in tumorigenesis and clinical implication remains elusive. The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression of sprouty2 in patients with HNSCC and its function in vitro. Quantitative analysis of mRNA expression of sprouty2 was performed on frozen tumor samples from 42 patients with HNSCC and 19 with oral verrucous hyperplasia (OVH) with paired counterparts of normal mucosa. Downregulation of sprouty2 expression was demonstrated in 79% of HNSCC samples and in 58% of OVH samples compared with paired samples of normal mucosa. Enhanced expression of sprouty2 protein suppressed the growth of HNSCC cells and signaling of the phosphorylated AKT pathway. Following transfection of the sprouty2 plasmid, HNSCC cells were more sensitive to sorafenib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of Raf and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor. The present study suggested that sprouty2 expression was downregulated and behaved as a tumor suppressor in HNSCC. Sprouty2 expression in tumor cells enhanced sensitivity to sorafenib. Further studies are required to define the clinical impact of sprouty2 in patients with HNSCC.