The p16/INK4A is one of the major target genes in carcinogenesis and its inactivation has frequently been reported in other types of tumors. The purpose of this study is to evaluate inactivation patterns of p16/INK4A in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Six different oral cancer cell lines, SCC-4, SCC-9, SCC-15, SCC-25, KB, and SNUDH- 379 were examined for inactivation of p16/INK4A genes. In the analysis of p16/INK4A gene inactivation, PCR amplification, direct sequencing, and methylation-specific PCR methods were adopted for evaluation of homozygous deletion, point mutation, and promoter hypermethylation, respectively. Homozygous deletion was detected in SCC-25 and SCC-9. SCC-15 showed hypermethylated promoter region within p16/INK4A gene. It is suggestive in the present study that inactivation patterns of p16/INK4A were mainly homozygous deletion, promoter methylation rather than point mutation in oral squamous cancer cell lines, so treatment modalities of oral squamous cell carcinoma should be focused on these types of inactivation.
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