Elucidating the role of excision repair cross-complement group 1 in oral epithelial dysplasia and early invasive squamous cell carcinoma: An immunohistochemical study

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Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology


Objectives: Oral epithelial dysplasia (OED) is characterized by cellular alterations which have the proclivity of progressing to squamous cell carcinoma. Excision repair cross-complement group 1 (ERCC1) is one of the key proteins involved in nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. The expression of ERCC1 has been studied in colorectal, esophageal, ovarian and oral squamous cell carcinoma; but, very few studies have been done to apprehend the expression of ERCC1 in OED and early invasive squamous cell carcinoma (EISCC). The goal of this study is to evaluate the role of ERCC1 in OED and EISCC. Materials and Methods: Histopathologically diagnosed cases of moderate dysplasia (n = 10), severe dysplasia (n = 10) and EISCC (n = 10) were retrieved. 4 μ thick sections were cut from the formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue blocks. The sections were immunohistochemically stained for ERCC1 following standard protocols. The expression of ERCC1 was evaluated semiquantitatively. Statistical analysis was carried out using Fischer's exact t-test. Results: The expression of ERCC1 was found to be strong (+3) in EISCC, moderate (+2) in severe dysplasia and mild (+1) in moderate dysplasia. Thus, the results were statistically significant between the three groups (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Disruption in the mechanisms that regulate cell cycle checkpoints and DNA repair mechanism results in genomic instability; these alterations might contribute to carcinoma. ERCC1 is essential to repair the DNA damage induced by various carcinogens. The present study shows significant difference in the expression of ERCC1 between EISCC and OED, which suggests ERCC1 could be used as one of the predictive markers.

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