S4S8-RPA phosphorylation as an indicator of cancer progression in oral squamous cell carcinomas

Jeff Rector, Sasha Kapil, Kelly J. Treude, Phyllis Kumm, Jason G. Glanzer, Brendan M. Byrne, Shengqin Liu, Lynette M. Smith, Dominick J. DiMaio, Peter Giannini, Russell B. Smith, Greg G. Oakley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Oral cancers are easily accessible compared to many other cancers. Nevertheless, oral cancer is often diagnosed late, resulting in a poor prognosis. Most oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas that predominantly develop from cell hyperplasias and dysplasias. DNA damage is induced in these tissues directly or indirectly in response to oncogene-induced deregulation of cellular proliferation. Consequently, a DNA Damage response (DDR) and a cell cycle checkpoint is activated. As dysplasia transitions to cancer, proteins involved in DNA damage and checkpoint signaling are mutated or silenced decreasing cell death while increasing genomic instability and allowing continued tumor progression. Hyperphosphorylation of Replication Protein A (RPA), including phosphorylation of Ser4 and Ser8 of RPA2, is a well-known indicator of DNA damage and checkpoint activation. In this study, we utilize S4S8-RPA phosphorylation as a marker for cancer development and progression in oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC). S4S8-RPA phosphorylation was observed to be low in normal cells, high in dysplasias, moderate in early grade tumors, and low in late stage tumors, essentially supporting the model of the DDR as an early barrier to tumorigenesis in certain types of cancers. In contrast, overall RPA expression was not correlative to DDR activation or tumor progression. Utilizing S4S8-RPA phosphorylation to indicate competent DDR activation in the future may have clinical significance in OSCC treatment decisions, by predicting the susceptibility of cancer cells to first-line platinum-based therapies for locally advanced, metastatic and recurrent OSCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9243-9250
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2017


  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Phosphorylation
  • Replication protein A
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Tumorigenicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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