Gene and protein expression of glucose transporter 1 and glucose transporter 3 in human laryngeal cancer—the relationship with regulatory hypoxia-inducible factor-1α expression, tumor invasiveness, and patient prognosis
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Increased glucose uptake mediated by glucose transporters and reliance on glycolysis are common features of malignant cells. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α supports the adaptation of hypoxic cells by inducing genes related to glucose metabolism. The contribution of glucose transporter (GLUT) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) activity to tumor behavior and their prognostic value in head and neck cancers remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the predictive value of GLUT1, GLUT3, and HIF-1α messenger RNA (mRNA)/protein expression as markers of tumor aggressiveness and prognosis in laryngeal cancer. The level of hypoxia/metabolic marker genes was determined in 106 squamous cell laryngeal cancer (SCC) and 73 noncancerous matched mucosa (NCM) controls using quantitative realtime PCR. The related protein levels were analyzed by Western blot. Positive expression of SLC2A1, SLC2A3, and HIF-1α genes was noted in 83.9, 82.1, and 71.7 % of SCC specimens and in 34.4, 59.4, and 62.5 % of laryngeal cancer samples. Higher levels of mRNA/protein for GLUT1 and HIF-1α were noted in SCC compared to NCM (p<0.05). SLC2A1 was found to have a positive relationship with grade, tumor front grading (TFG) score, and depth and mode of invasion (p<0.05). SLC2A3 was related to grade and invasion type (p<0.05). There were also relationships of HIF-1α with pTNM, TFG scale, invasion depth and mode, tumor recurrences, and overall survival (p<0.05). In addition, more advanced tumors were found to be more likely to demonstrate positive expression of these proteins. In conclusion, the hypoxia/metabolic markers studied could be used as molecular markers of tumor invasiveness in laryngeal cancer.
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