Fan G, et al. Cancer Cell Int 2020.
BACKGROUND: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSC) ranks as the sixth most common malignancy. The identification of highly specific and sensitive prognostic markers and potential drug targets can contribute to enhanced patient prognosis and individualized treatments. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) act as molecular chaperones and play a crucial role in maintaining cell homeostasis. Recently, research has indicated that HSPs also act as "evil chaperones" in cancer development.
METHODS: In this study, we assessed the expression of HSPs in HNSC patients using the ONCOMINE, GEPIA, and UALCAN databases. Mutations of HSP genes were also analysed using the cBioPortal database. Additionally, the expression levels of HSPs were verified using the Human Protein Altas (THPA) database.
RESULTS: We found that the expression levels of HSPH1, HSPD1, SERPINH1, HSPA4, and HSP90AA1 were significantly higher in tissues from HNSC patients compared with normal tissues. Moreover, HSPH1, HSPD1, SERPINH1, HSPA4 and HSP90AA1 expressions were linked to disease progression. Survival analysis with the GEPIA and OncoLnc databases indicated that upregulation of HSPH1, HSPD1, SERPINH1, HSPA4 and HSP90AA1 was related to poor overall survival (OS).
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that the HSPH1, HSPD1, SERPINH1, HSPA4 and HSP90AA1 genes are potential clinical targets and prognostic biomarkers for patients with HNSC.