Dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP) gene-silencing inhibits key tumorigenic activities in human oral cancer cell line, OSC2

Rajeshree Joshi, Amany Tawfik, Nneka Edeh, Veronica Mccloud, Stephen Looney, Jill Lewis, Stephen Hsu, Kalu U.E. Ogbureke

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21 Scopus citations


Background: We determined recently that dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP), a member of the SIBLING (Small integrin-binding ligand N-linked glycoproteins) family of phosphoglycoproteins, is highly upregulated in human oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) where upregulation is associated with tumor aggressiveness. To investigate the effects of DSPP-silencing on the tumorigenic profiles of the oral cancer cell line, OSC2, short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) interference was employed to silence DSPP in OSC2 cells. Methodology/Principal Findings: Multiple regions of DSPP transcript were targeted for shRNA interference using hDSP-shRNA lentiviral particles designed to silence DSPP gene expression. Control shRNA plasmid encoding a scrambled sequence incapable of degrading any known cellular mRNA was used for negative control. Following puromycin selection of stable lines of DSSP-silenced OSC2 cells, phenotypic hallmarks of oral carcinogenesis were assayed by western blot and RT-PCR analyses, MTT (cell-viability), colony-formation, modified Boyden-Chamber (migration and invasion), and flow cytometry (cell-cycle and apoptosis) analyses. DSPP-silenced OSC2 cells showed altered cell morphology, reduced viability, decreased colony-formation ability, decreased migration and invasion, G0/G1 cell-cycle arrest, and increased tumor cell sensitivity to cisplatin-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, VEGF, Ki-67, p53, and EGFR were down-regulated. There was a direct correlation between the degree of DSPP-silencing and MMP suppression, as indicated by least squares regression: MMP-2 {(y=0.850x, p<0.001) (y =1.156x, p<0.001)}, MMP-3 {(y= 0.994x, p<0.001) (y=1.324x, p= 0.004)}, and MMP-9 {(y= 1.248x, p =0.005, y=0.809, p= 0.013)}. Conclusions/Significance: DSPP-silencing in OSC2 cell decreased salient hallmarks of oral tumorigenesis and provides the first functional evidence of a potential key role for DSPP in oral cancer biology. The down-regulation of MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, p53 and VEGF in DSPP-silenced OSC2 cells provides a significant functional/molecular framework for deciphering the mechanisms of DSPP activities in oral cancer biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13974
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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