Trending With Impact: NF-κB Activity Classifies HPV+ HNSCC Prognosis



May 25, 2022

Oncotarget published this trending research paper on May 24, 2022 in Volume 13, entitled, "NF-κB over-activation portends improved outcomes in HPV-associated head and neck cancer" by researchers from the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC; Department of Surgery, Otolaryngology, Yale, New Haven, CT; Department of Pharmacology and Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL; Bioinformatics Core, University of Illinois Cancer Center, Chicago, IL; Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Lineberger Cancer Center, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC; Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC; Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. DOI - Correspondence to - Wendell G. Yarbrough -, and Natalia Issaeva - Abstract Evolving understanding of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is leading to more specific diagnostic disease classifications. Among HNSCC caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), tumors harboring defects in TRAF3 or CYLD are associated with improved clinical outcomes and maintenance of episomal HPV. TRAF3 and CYLD are negative regulators of NF-κB and inactivating mutations of either leads to NF-κB overactivity. Here, we developed and validated a gene expression classifier separating HPV+ HNSCCs based on NF-κB activity. As expected, the novel classifier is strongly enriched in NF-κB targets leading us to name it the NF-κB Activity Classifier (NAC). High NF-κB activity correlated with improved survival in two independent cohorts. Using NAC, tumors with high NF-κB activity but lacking defects in TRAF3 or CYLD were identified; thus, while TRAF3 or CYLD gene defects identify the majority of tumors with NF-κB activation, unknown mechanisms leading to NF-kB activity also exist. The NAC correctly classified the functional consequences of two novel CYLD missense mutations. Using a reporter assay, we tested these CYLD mutations revealing that their activity to inhibit NF-kB was equivalent to the wild-type protein. Future applications of the NF-κB Activity Classifier may be to identify HPV+ HNSCC patients with better or worse survival with implications for treatment strategies. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - Press release - Keywords - HPV, head and neck cancer, CYLD, TRAF3, NF-κB About Oncotarget Oncotarget is a peer-reviewed, open access biomedical journal covering research on all aspects of oncology. To learn more about Oncotarget, please visit and connect with us: SoundCloud - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube - LinkedIn - Pinterest - Reddit - Oncotarget is published by Impact Journals, LLC: Media Contact MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM 18009220957

Analytical TechniquesCancer ResearchDrug DiscoveryMolecular Biology

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