Epithelial expression of keratinocytes growth factor in oral precancer lesions

Sudha Jimson, S. Murali, Susan Zunt, Lawrence Goldblatt, Mythily Srinivasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) is a potent epithelial mitogen that acts by binding the KGF receptors (KGFRs) expressed on epithelial cells and regulates proliferation and differentiation. The objective of this study was to investigate the expression of KGF in the epithelium in oral precancer. Materials and Methods: Archival tissues of oral submucous fibrosis (SMF) and leukoplakia were assessed for epithelial KGF expression by immunohistochemistry and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: KGF was predominantly expressed in the basal and parabasal cells in the epithelium of SMF tissues. KGF transcript in the epithelial cells increased with increasing severity of epithelial dysplasia in oral leukoplakia. Conclusion: Although widely reported as a product secreted by the mesenchymal cells, our data suggest that the KGF is also expressed in oral epithelial cells much like the expression in ovarian epithelial cells. Based on the localization of KGF in cells at the epithelial mesenchymal junction and that of the reported presence of KGFR in oral keratinocytes, a potential mechanism involving paracrine and autocrine interactions of KGF and KGFR in early stages of oral precancer is postulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-205
Number of pages7
JournalDental Research Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2016


  • Epithelium
  • keratinocyte growth factor
  • leukoplakia
  • oral submucous fibroses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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