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Induction of c-Myc-dependent cell proliferation through toll-like receptor 3 in head and neck cancer

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Protein expression of human toll-like receptors (TLR) 1-10 was measured in cell lines and solid tumors of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). All HNSCC cell lines and 80% of solid tumors were found to express TLR3 as a predominantly intracellular protein, while no other TLR proteins were expressed. TLR3 has previously been shown to contribute to the activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), a transcription factor which promotes several types of human cancers. Significantly, NF-κB expression was strongest in protein extracts from carcinoma tissue in which TLR3 was overexpressed. Inhibition of TLR3 expression in permanent HNSCC cell lines resulted in decreased expression of the oncoprotein c-Myc resulting in decreased cell proliferation. Correspondingly, overexpression of human TLR3 in mouse fibroblasts resulted in an upregulation of c-Myc and increased sensitivity for PolyI:C-induced cell proliferation. Our data suggest that TLR3 contributes to the malignant phenotype leading to invasive carcinoma in HNSCC.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, D-23538 Lübeck, Germany

Publication date: February 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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