Publication: Cytoplasmic Increase in Hsp70 Protein: A Potential New Biomarker of Early Infiltration of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Arising from Actinic Keratosis
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Background: Cutaneous squamous skin cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most frequent type of non-melanoma skin cancer and is the second leading cause of death by skin cancer in Caucasian populations. However, at present it is difficult to predict patients with poor SCC prognosis. Objective: To identify proteins with expression levels that could predict SCC infiltration in SCC arising from actinic keratosis (SCC-AK). Methods: A total of 20 biopsies from 20 different patients were studied; 10 were SCC-AK samples and 10 were taken from normal skin. Early infiltrated SCC-AK samples were selected based on histological examination, and to determine the expression of proteins, fresh skin samples were processed by two-dimensional electrophoresis. Results: The expression levels of three proteins, namely alpha hemoglobin and heat shock proteins 27 and 70 (Hsp27 and Hsp70, respectively) were significantly increased in SCC-AK samples with respect to normal control skin. However, only the expression level of Hsp70 protein positively correlated with the level of SCC-AK dermis infiltration. Immunohistological examination suggested that increased expression of Hsp70 proteins seemed to mainly occur in the cytoplasm of keratinocytes. The increased cytoplasmic Hsp70 expression in SCC-AK was confirmed by Western blot experiments. Conclusion: Cytoplasmic expression of Hsp70 could be a potential biomarker of early infiltration of SCC arising from AK.