Expression of a novel marker, Ubc9, in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Ohad Ronen, James P. Malone, Paul Kay, Christopher Bivens, Kelly Hall, Lakshmi P. Paruchuri, Yin Yuan Mo, K. Thomas Robbins, Sophia Ran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background. Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (Ubc9) is a novel enzyme involved in posttranslational modification of cellular proteins. The objective of this study was to determine the expression of Ubc9 in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Methods. SCCHN specimens were stained with anti-Ubc9 antibodies, scored using a semiquantitative method, and statistically analyzed. Results. Forty-six tumors were stained, 26 of which included adjacent mucosa. Ubc9 was significantly upregulated in the malignant and peritumoral tissues compared with mucosa from normal individuals. In peritumoral tissues, Ubc9 expression was detected in the basal and suprabasal epithelial layers. No Ubc9 was detected in epithelial cells in normal mucosa. These differences in Ubc9 expression were statistically significant (p < .0001). Tumor Ubc9 expression significantly correlated with clinical and pathologic stage. Conclusions. Ubc9 is significantly overexpressed in the primary SCCHN tumors and peritumoral mucosa compared with normal epithelial cells. These findings suggest that Ubc9 may play an important role in tumorigenesis and tumor progression of SCCHN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-855
Number of pages11
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Endothelial marker
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Novel SCCHN
  • Sumoylation
  • Ubc9


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