Cytotoxic effects of SMAC-mimetic compound LCL161 in head and neck cancer cell lines
cIAP-1, an apoptosis inhibiting protein, has been suggested to play important roles in the development of cervical and esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). In order to clarify the subcellular localization of cIAP-1 and to investigate its clinicopathological significance in head and neck SCCs (HNSCCs), we examined cIAP-1 expression in four oral SCC cell lines by immunocytochemistry and Western blot. Expressions of nuclear and cytoplasmic cIAP-1, caspase-3, and Smac/DIABLO were also examined immunohistochemically in 57 cases of the HNSCCs. cIAP-1 expression was detected in HSC-2, HSC-3, and HSC-4 cells by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. In HSC-2 and HSC-4 cells, cIAP-1 was detected in both the nuclear and cytoplasmic fractions. Nuclear cIAP-1 expression was positive in 17 (30%) of HNSCCs, was correlated with lymph node metastasis (P=0.020) and advanced disease stage (P=0.032), and tended to be correlated with poor patient prognosis (P=0.059). Cytoplasmic cIAP-1 expression showed similar but weaker clinicopathological correlations. Nuclear cIAP-1 expression was inversely correlated with caspase-3 expression, but was correlated with Smac/DIABLO expression. Nuclear cIAP-1 expression appears to be a useful marker for predicting poor patient prognosis in HNSCCs, and may play roles in HNSCCs through the signaling pathway mediated by Smac/DIABLO and caspase-3.