Aromatase expression in normal human oral keratinocytes and oral squamous cell carcinoma. Academic Article uri icon


  • UNLABELLED: Aromatase is the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of androgen to oestrogen. Aromatase expression in extra-gonadal sites and local oestrogen synthesis play an important role in the physiological conditions and in the growth of certain neoplasms. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate aromatase expression in oral keratinocytes and oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). DESIGN: Immunocytochemistry and RT-nested PCR were used to detect aromatase protein and mRNA expression in primary human oral epithelial cell culture and in an oral SCC cell line. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect aromatase protein expression in frozen and archival human tissue sections of normal oral epithelium and oral SCC. RESULTS: Cytoplasmic immunostaining was found in normal oral keratinocytes and SCC cells in culture. The common coding region of aromatase mRNA was detected in the oral keratinocytes derived from five different normal individuals and in the SCC cell line. However, there were variations in aromatase exon 1 expression among normal oral keratinocyte samples. Cytoplasmic staining was found in normal oral epithelium and well-differentiated oral SCC but not in poorly differentiated oral SCC by immunohistochemistry. CONCLUSION: Aromatase was expressed in normal oral keratinocytes and oral SCC both in cell culture and in tissues, indicating local oestrogen synthesis in normal and neoplastic conditions of oral epithelium.

published proceedings

  • Arch Oral Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Cheng, Y., Mues, G., Wood, D., & Ding, J.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Cheng, Yi-Shing Lisa||Mues, Gabriele||Wood, David||Ding, Jiahuan

publication date

  • February 2006