Annexin A1, a member of the Annexin superfamily, has been shown to play a vital role in a broad range of molecular and cellular processes. This study aims to explore the relationship between the Annexin A1 expression and the clinical response to cisplatin, docetaxel, and 5-fluorouracil (TPF) as induction chemotherapy in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
This study recruited two hundred thirty-two patients from a III/IVA OSCC trial. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess the level of Annexin A1 expression. Overexpression and knockdown methods in HB96, HN4 and CAL27 cell lines were used to assess the role of Annexin A1 in the neoplastic cellular response to chemotherapy.
We found that reduced expression of Annexin A1 conferred a prognostic benefit from induction chemotherapy based on the TPF drug combination in patients with moderately/poorly differentiated disease. Using an in vitro model, we found that low Annexin A1 enhanced cellular proliferation by activating the EGFR/AKT signalling pathway and inhibiting p27 expression. Furthermore, low Annexin A1 initiated a significant decrease in cell viability after treatment with TPF agents. In addition, downregulation of Annexin A1 promoted apoptosis induced by docetaxel, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil, and upregulation of Annexin A1 inhibited apoptosis.
Annexin A1 may be of prognostic value in patients with locally advanced OSCC who are managed with TPF chemotherapy, as low Annexin A1 promotes chemosensitivity to TPF chemotherapy in oral cancer cells via enhanced caspase-dependent apoptosis.

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