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LRIG2: A Potential Biomarker in Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

By: Joshua Swore
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A new study published in Molecular Oncology investigated the role of the transmembrane protein LRIG2 in tumor progression of skin carcinogenesis by using human skin samples and a mouse overexpression model. Maik Dahlhoff, PhD, of Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, and colleagues reported, “LRIG2 may promote tumor growth and induce a more severe carcinogenic phenotype.”

The authors used human skin samples to identify expression of LRIG2 in carcinoma and used mouse transgenics to overexpress the protein. Human skin samples were acquired from 10 patients with squamous cell carcinoma and 10 healthy individuals. Skin samples were then used for western blot analysis. Mouse zygotes were injected with a vector containing the gene for LRIG2 to generate a line that would overexpress LRIG2 specifically in the skin. The line was then used to observe developmental and carcinogenesis differences with control littermate mice.

Western blot analysis revealed increased expression of LRIG2 in patients with carcinomas compared with healthy individuals. Next, the investigators overexpressed LRIG2 in mice and found no differences in the developmental process of transgenic mice compared with control littermate mice. The researchers then induced carcinogenesis in transgenic and control mice with an application of DMBA/TPA (7,12‐dimethylbenz[])anthracene/12‐O‐tetra‐decanoylphorbol‐13‐acetate). This induced papilloma development in both transgenics and controls. At 10 weeks after application of DMBA/TPA, the size of papillomata in transgenic mice was reduced compared with controls (P < .001) and began to take on a carcinoma phenotype.

A total of 58% of mice that overexpressed LRIG2 developed squamous cell carcinomas, whereas just 10% of control littermates developed a similar phenotype (P < .001). These results indicate that LRIG2 may be associated with carcinoma development and progression.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflict of interests.

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