TLR4 down-regulation identifies high risk HPV infection and integration in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas

Giuseppe Pannone, Pantaleo Bufo, Mirella Pace, Silvia Lepore, Giuseppe M. Russo, Corrado Rubini, Renato Franco, Gabriella Aquino, Angela Santoro, Giuseppina Campisi, Vito Rodolico, Eduardo Bucci, Gennaro Ilardi, Massimo Mascolo, Francesco Merolla, Lorenzo Lo Muzio, Iole Natalicchio, Giuseppe Colella, Ilaria Laurenzana, Stefania TrinoRosalia Leonardi, Paolo Bucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


TLRs are main actors of the innate immune response against HPV. There are very few studies on the role of TLRs mediated HPV clearance in Head and Neck oncology. Our aim was to evaluate whether TLR4 expression identifies HPV infection and/or HR-HPV integration status in oral and oropharyngeal cancers. By immunohistochemistry we assessed TLR4 levels in OSCC/OPSCC. To detect viral integration or episomic status In situ hybridization for HPV-DNA and Pyro-sequencing techniques have been performed. The relationship between TLR4 expression with HPV infection status has been investigated. ISH HPV positive samples have reported lower levels of TLR4 intensity than negative samples (p = .002). There was no statistical correlation between TLR4 intensity and PCR HPV results (p more than 0.0.5). Point-biserial correlation coefficient revealed significant association between TLR4 expression and HR-HPV integration status (p = .0001) and between TLR4 expression index and HR-HPV infection (p = .001). These data have shown that TLR4 down-regulation is strongly associated to both HPV-16 infection and its integration into the host DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-28
Number of pages14
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience - Elite
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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