Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
TLR4 down-regulation identifies high risk HPV integration in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas
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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. 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 = 0.002). There is no statistical correlation between TLR4 intensity and PCR HPV results (p > 0.0.5). Point-biserial correlation coefficient revealed significant association between TLR4 expression and HR-HPV integration status (p = 0.0001) and between TLR4 expression index and HR-HPV infection (p = 0.001). These data show that TLR4 down-regulation is strongly associated to both HPV-16 infection and its integration into the host DNA.