Regulation of MMP2 and MMP9 in Radiotherapy-Induced Oral Mucositis

Cancer patients experience a variety of side effects resulting from cancer irradiation therapies. However, one of the most prevalent and most serious side effects in patients who undergo head and neck radiotherapy is oral mucositis. Oral mucositis (OM) is caused by damage to oral epithelial tissue and characterized by ulcers and sores in the mouth, often accompanied by swelling. Though the connection between irradiation and OM development is known, there are currently no effective treatments. Data indicates that interleukin cytokine proteins IL-17 and IL-23 are involved in upregulation of the immune response and inflammation, but little is known about the relationship between interleukin cytokine proteins and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). MMPs are a group of structurally related enzymes that degrade extracellular matrix proteins and basement membrane components during growth and normal tissue turnover. The expression of these enzymes in adults is usually low. However, significant increase in MMP expression is seen in conditions that result in tissue destruction. This project focused on determining the transcription changes and regulation of MMP2 and MMP9 due to head and neck irradiation. It was hypothesized that head and neck irradiation would cause upregulation of MMP2 and MMP9, resulting in damage to the oral mucosa.
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Abstract/Description: Cancer patients experience a variety of side effects resulting from cancer irradiation therapies. However, one of the most prevalent and most serious side effects in patients who undergo head and neck radiotherapy is oral mucositis. Oral mucositis (OM) is caused by damage to oral epithelial tissue and characterized by ulcers and sores in the mouth, often accompanied by swelling. Though the connection between irradiation and OM development is known, there are currently no effective treatments. Data indicates that interleukin cytokine proteins IL-17 and IL-23 are involved in upregulation of the immune response and inflammation, but little is known about the relationship between interleukin cytokine proteins and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). MMPs are a group of structurally related enzymes that degrade extracellular matrix proteins and basement membrane components during growth and normal tissue turnover. The expression of these enzymes in adults is usually low. However, significant increase in MMP expression is seen in conditions that result in tissue destruction. This project focused on determining the transcription changes and regulation of MMP2 and MMP9 due to head and neck irradiation. It was hypothesized that head and neck irradiation would cause upregulation of MMP2 and MMP9, resulting in damage to the oral mucosa.
Subject(s): cancer; enzymes; oral epithelium; susceptibility