To identify a 15-KDa novel hypoxia-induced secreted protein in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and to determine its role in malignant progression.We used surface-enhanced laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS) and tandem MS to identify a novel hypoxia-induced secreted protein in FaDu cells. We used immunoblots, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay to confirm the hypoxic induction of this secreted protein as galectin-1 in cell lines and xenografts. We stained tumor tissues from 101 HNSCC patients for galectin-1, CA IX (carbonic anhydrase IX, a hypoxia marker) and CD3 (a T-cell marker). Expression of these markers was correlated to each other and to treatment outcomes.SELDI-TOF studies yielded a hypoxia-induced peak at 15 kDa that proved to be galectin-1 by MS analysis. Immunoblots and PCR studies confirmed increased galectin-1 expression by hypoxia in several cancer cell lines. Plasma levels of galectin-1 were higher in tumor-bearing severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice breathing 10% O2 compared with mice breathing room air. In HNSCC patients, there was a significant correlation between galectin-1 and CA IX staining (P = .01) and a strong inverse correlation between galectin-1 and CD3 staining (P = .01). Expression of galectin-1 and CD3 were significant predictors for overall survival on multivariate analysis.Galectin-1 is a novel hypoxia-regulated protein and a prognostic marker in HNSCC. This study presents a new mechanism on how hypoxia can affect the malignant progression and therapeutic response of solid tumors by regulating the secretion of proteins that modulate immune privilege.
View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.2005.02.0206
View details for PubMedID 16219933