Cholesteatoma is an epidermoid cyst, which is most frequently found in the middle ear. The matrix of cholesteatoma is histologically similar to the matrix of the epidermoid cyst of the skin (atheroma); their epithelium is characterized by hyperproliferation. The c-MYC protooncogene located on chromosome 8q24 encodes a transcription factor involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. Previous studies have found aneuploidy of chromosome 8, copy number variation of c-MYC gene, and the presence of elevated level c-MYC protein in cholesteatoma. In this study we have compared the expression of c-MYC gene in samples taken from the matrix of 26 acquired cholesteatomas (15 children and 11 adults), 15 epidermoid cysts of the skin (atheromas; head and neck region) and 5 normal skin samples (retroauricular region) using RT-qPCR, providing the first precise measurement of the expression of c-MYC gene in cholesteatoma. We have found significantly elevated c-MYC gene expression in cholesteatoma compared to atheroma and to normal skin samples. There was no significant difference, however, in c-MYC gene expression between cholesteatoma samples of children and adults. The significant difference in c-MYC gene expression level in cholesteatoma compared to that of atheroma implies a more prominent hyperproliferative phenotype which may explain the clinical behavior typical of cholesteatoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)