We investigated expression levels of Nicotinamide N-Methyltransferase (NNMT), an enzyme involved in the biotransformation of many drugs and xenobiotic compounds, in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Measurements were performed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and quantitative real-time PCR in tumor and matched adjacent healthy tissue. Interestingly, NNMT was upregulated in most of the favorable OSCCs, while no marked NNMT expression alterations between tumor and normal mucosa were detected in most of the unfavorable OSCCs, Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses also were performed and the relationship between tumor characteristics and NNMT levels in OSCC were studied to evaluate the effectiveness of NNMT as a prognostic marker in the squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity. In summary, the present study suggests that NNMT may have potential as a biomarker and a therapeutic target for OSCC.
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