Background/Aim: Metastasis to cervical lymph nodes of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) leads to a poor prognosis. The present study aimed at investigating the pathways and molecules associated with OSCC metastasis. Materials and Methods: The transcriptome between HSC-3 cells and their highly metastatic subline, HSC-3-M3 cells, was examined using gene expression microarray. Gene enrichment analyses and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis were performed. Kaplan-Meier plot analysis using a publicly available dataset was conducted to assess whether candidate molecules are prognosticators. Results: A total of 1,018 genes were differentially expressed, and the inflammatory pathway and NF-κB were predicted to be activated in HSC-3-M3 cells. CSF2 was suggested to be an indicator of poor prognosis in head and neck cancers. Conclusion: Inflammation and NF-κB may be involved in the metastasis of OSCC, and CSF2 is a promising diagnostic and therapeutic molecule. Moreover, HSC-3-M3 cells are a useful cell line model for studying OSCC progression.
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