West China Journal of Stomatology ›› 2021, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (5): 510-517.doi: 10.7518/hxkq.2021.05.003

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Effect of RhoE expression on the migration and invasion of tongue squamous cell carcinoma

Zhao Kai1(), Yuan Wenhong2, Li Wenjian3, Chi Zengpeng4, Wang Shaoru3, Chen Zhenggang2()   

  1. 1.School of Stomatology, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266003, China
    2.Dept. of Stomatology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China
    3.School of Stomatology, Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116044, China
    4.College of Stomatology, Weifang Medical University, Weifang 261021, China
  • Received:2020-12-10 Revised:2021-06-28 Online:2021-10-01 Published:2021-10-11
  • Contact: Chen Zhenggang E-mail:1142083797@qq.com;chenzhg1973@163.com
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China(81372908);Correspondence: Chen Zhenggang, E-mail: chenzhg1973@163.com

Abstract: Objective

This study aims to investigate the effect of RhoE expression on the migration and invasion of tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC).


Forty-eight TSCC cases were selected from the Maxillofacial Surgery Center of Qingdao Municipal Hospital from 2017 to 2019. The expression of RhoE in the specimens (TSCC and adjacent tissues) was detected by immunohistochemistry, and RhoE mRNA and protein were extracted to further detect the expression of RhoE. SCC-4 and CAL-27 cells were selected for in vitro experiments. Transient transfection was used to overexpress RhoE. Real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blot analyses were conducted to detect the overexpression efficiency. Scratch test and Transwell cell invasion tests were used to detect the migration and invasion ability of TSCC, respectively. The expression levels of Rho-associated coiled-coil-containing protein kinase 1 (ROCK1), matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) were detected by Western blot. Experimental data were analyzed by Graphpad prism 8.2.1 software.


The expression level of RhoE in TSCC was significantly lower than that in adjacent tissues (P<0.05). The migration and invasion abilities of TSCC were significantly lower than those in the control group (P<0.05). The Western blot showed significantly lower expression levels of ROCK1, MMP-2, and MMP-9 in the experimental group than in the control group (P<0.05).


RhoE expression is low in TSCC. Over expression RhoE in TSCC can significantly decrease its migration and invasion abilities. Hence, RhoE may play an important role in regulating the metastasis and invasion of TSCC and provide a new target for gene therapy.

Key words: RhoE, tongue squamous cell carcinoma, migration, invasion

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