The Characteristics and Function of S100A7 Induction in Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Heterogeneity, Promotion of Cell Proliferation and Suppression of Differentiation


<div><p>S100A7 is highly expressed in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and is related to the terminal differentiation of keratinocytes. However, its characteristic and function in SCC is not very known. In this present study, we used immunohistochemistry to examine the expression of S100A7 in 452 SCC specimens, including the lung, esophagus, oral cavity, skin, cervix, bladder, and three SCC cell lines. We found that S100A7-positive staining showed significant heterogeneity in six types of SCC specimen and three SCC cell lines. Further examination found that S100A7-positive cells and its expression at mRNA and protein levels could be induced in HCC94, FaDu, and A-431 cells both in vitro and in vivo using immunohistochemistry, real-time PCR, and Western blotting. Notably, the upregulation of squamous differentiation markers, including keratin-4, keratin-13, TG-1, and involucrin, also accompanied S100A7 induction, and a similar staining pattern of S100A7 and keratin-13 was found in HCC94 cells both in vitro and in vivo. Further study revealed that the overexpression of S100A7 significantly increased proliferation and inhibited squamous differentiation in A-431 cells both in vitro and in vivo. Conversely, silencing S100A7 inhibited cell growth and survival and increased the expression of keratin-4, keratin-13, TG-1, and involucrin in HCC94 cells. Therefore, these results demonstrate that S100A7 displays heterogeneous and inducible characteristic in SCC and also provide novel evidence that S100A7 acts as a dual regulator in promoting proliferation and suppressing squamous differentiation of SCC.</p></div

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