TPL2 is an oncogenic driver in keratocanthoma and squamous cell carcinoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and keratoacanthoma (KA; SCC/KA) research has been hampered mainly by our lack of understanding the underlying genetic and epigenetic alterations associated with SCC/KA development, as well as the lack of animal models that faithfully recapitulate histopathologic features of human SCC/KA. Here, we show that TPL2 over-expression induced both cell transformation in immortalized human keratinocytes and SCC and KA-like cutaneous SCC (cSCC) development in mice. Mechanistically, activation of TPL2 downstream signaling pathways such as MEK/ERK MAPK, mTOR, NF-κB, and p38 MAPK leads to TPL2-mediated cell transformation in immortalized human keratinocytes and tumorigenesis in mice. Most importantly, TPL2 overexpression is required for iTPL2 TG-driven SCC and KA-like cSCC tumor maintenance, validating TPL2 as a possible drug target for the treatment of SCC/KA. Finally, we verified that TPL2 is over-expressed in human cutaneous metastatic SCC and KA clinical specimens compared with normal skin. Taken together, our results establish TPL2 as an oncogenic driver in SCC/KA development.


  • Jun Han Lee
  • Joo Hyung Lee
  • Sang Hyuk Lee
  • Sung Im Do
  • Sung Dae Cho
  • Ola Forslund
  • Kyung Soo Inn
  • Jeong Sang Lee
  • Fang Ming Deng
  • Jonathan Melamed
  • Jae U. Jung
  • Joseph H. Jeong
External organisations
  • University of Southern California
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Sungkyunkwan University
  • Chonbuk National University
  • Kyung Hee University
  • Jeonju University
  • New York University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6712-6722
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Research
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 15
Publication categoryResearch