A natural animal model for human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (H/N SCC) has not been described. The domestic cat has a high spontaneous occurrence of oropharyngeal SCC, which is similar to the human disease in aggressiveness and incurability. We have developed a cell line (SCCF1) from a laryngeal SCC of a cat. Keratinocytes were maintained in culture for greater than 50 passages. SCCF1 had strong cytokeratin immunohistochemical staining, weak vimentin staining, and no p53 staining. Ultrastructual features included cytokeratin filaments and desmosomes, as well as features of anaplasia (irregular cytoplasmic and nuclear margins, surface filopodia, and abnormal intermediate filament production). Karyotype analysis revealed aneuploidy, with a stemline chromosomal number of 34. The cells grew logarithmically for 6 d until confluency. SCCF1 expressed parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) and protein, and secreted the protein into the medium. Treatment of SCCF1 with transforming growth factor-β increased PTHrP production but did not affect PTHrP mRNA stability. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify a 282–base pair region of feline PTHrP mRNA, encoding portions of the pre-pro and coding regions. The complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) was cloned and sequenced. The cDNA and the predicted amino acid sequences had a high degree of homology to human and canine PTHrP. RT-PCR was used to confirm alternate splicing of PTHrP mRNA for translation of PTHrP 1–139 and PTHrP 1–141. The SCCF1 cell line will permit mechanistic experiments on genetic dysregulation in neoplastic keratinocytes of the feline oropharynx, and development of an in vitro model for H/N cancer.
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Vol. 37 • No. 10