Microbial and molecular differences according to the location of head and neck cancers

Yun Kyeong Kim, Eun Jung Kwon, Yeuni Yu, Jayoung Kim, Soo Yeon Woo, Hee Sun Choi, Munju Kwon, Keehoon Jung, Hyung Sik Kim, Hae Ryoun Park, Dongjun Lee, Yun Hak Kim

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1 Scopus citations


Background: Microbiome has been shown to substantially contribute to some cancers. However, the diagnostic implications of microbiome in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remain unknown. Methods: To identify the molecular difference in the microbiome of oral and non-oral HNSCC, primary data was downloaded from the Kraken-TCGA dataset. The molecular differences in the microbiome of oral and non-oral HNSCC were identified using the linear discriminant analysis effect size method. Results: In the study, the common microbiomes in oral and non-oral cancers were Fusobacterium, Leptotrichia, Selenomonas and Treponema and Clostridium and Pseudoalteromonas, respectively. We found unique microbial signatures that positively correlated with Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways in oral cancer and positively and negatively correlated KEGG pathways in non-oral cancer. In oral cancer, positively correlated genes were mostly found in prion diseases, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Salmonella infection, and Pathogenic Escherichia coli infection. In non-oral cancer, positively correlated genes showed Herpes simplex virus 1 infection and Spliceosome and negatively correlated genes showed results from PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, Focal adhesion, Regulation of actin cytoskeleton, ECM-receptor interaction and Dilated cardiomyopathy. Conclusions: These results could help in understanding the underlying biological mechanisms of the microbiome of oral and non-oral HNSCC. Microbiome-based oncology diagnostic tool warrants further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135
JournalCancer Cell International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • KEGG pathway
  • Linear discriminant analysis
  • Microbiome
  • Non-oral cancer, TCGA
  • Oral cancer


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