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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 1056427, 10 pages
Research Article

HIPK2 Overexpression and Its Prognostic Role in Human Papillomavirus-Positive Tonsillar Squamous Cell Carcinoma

1Department of Pathology, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do 431-070, Republic of Korea
2Department of Pathology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University College of Medicine, Seoul 135-710, Republic of Korea
3Department of Pathology, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul 134-701, Republic of Korea
4Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Ilsong Memorial Institute Head and Neck Cancer Center, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Mi Jung Kwon;

Received 6 March 2017; Accepted 11 April 2017; Published 21 May 2017

Academic Editor: Claude Prigent

Copyright © 2017 Mi Jung Kwon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tonsillar squamous cell carcinomas (TSCCs) are the most common human papillomavirus- (HPV-) associated oropharyngeal cancers with poor prognosis. Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 2 (HIPK2) is a central regulator of p53, which participates in apoptosis during the DNA damage response. HIPK2 is involved in HPV-associated uterine cervical and cutaneous carcinogenesis through its binding of HPV E6, thereby preventing apoptosis and contributing to tumor progression. However, its clinical and prognostic significance in TSCC remains unclear. HIPK2 mRNA levels were analyzed in 20 normal tonsils and 20 TSCC specimens using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Immunohistochemistry of HIPK2 was performed in 79 resected specimens. HIPK2 was expressed in 57% of the TSCCs, and HIPK2 protein expression and HIPK2 mRNA levels were higher in TSCCs than in normal tonsils. HIPK2 overexpression was associated with poorly differentiated carcinoma and low alcohol consumption and was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival and disease-free survival (DFS) in TSCC and a negative independent prognostic factor for DFS in patients receiving postoperative radiotherapy. HIPK2 overexpression had a significant association with poorer DFS in HPV-positive TSCCs, but not in HPV-negative tumors. HIPK2 overexpression may be a potential prognostic marker for predicting prognoses and a high risk of recurrence, particularly in patients with HPV-positive TSCC.