Cytochrome C1 (CYC1) is an important subunit of mitochondrial complex III and plays a vital role in oxidative phosphorylation(OXPHOS) and reactive oxygen species generation. Overexpression of the CYC1 gene has been implicated in cancer development and its prognosis previously, but unexplored in head-and-neck squamous cell carcinomas(HNSCC), especially oral squamous cell carcinoma(OSCC).
Materials and Methods:
CYC1 m-RNA expression and gene alterations were assessed using the Cancer Genome Atlasdataset in HNSCC and validated in OSCC tissues using real-time polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR). The protein–protein interaction(PPI) network and functional enrichment pathways were also analysed.
A thorough analysis of the TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) database revealed that CYC1 was overexpressed in the HNSCC cases and the increased expression correlated with several parameters which involve the prediction of advanced diseases such as histopathological grade, tumour-node-metastasis staging, and nodal metastases(P<0.05). The expression of CYC1 was validated using RT-PCR showing significant upregulation(P<0.05) in OSCC tissue samples compared to the normal tissue counterparts. PPI network and functional analysis show the prominent role of CYC1 in OXPHOS, especially in electron transport chain III complex regulation.
The study revealed that CYC1 is highly expressed in HNSCC, and is validated in the OSCC patient tissue samples compared to the normal counterparts and associated with advanced disease stages and grade of the tumour. CYC1 could be a novel promising therapeutic and prognostic marker in HNSCC, especially in OSCC.