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Tobacco consumption in smoking and non-smoking forms has been consequential in the rise of oral cancer cases. Among different forms, epidemiological studies from Middle Eastern countries and rural parts of northern India have reported increasing association of oral cancer with waterpipe (hookah) smoking. However, molecular mechanisms and role played by waterpipe smoking in the onset of oral carcinogenesis remains unexplored. In this study, immortalized normal human oral keratinocytes were chronically treated with extracts of two varieties of waterpipe tobacco-crude tobacco and processed shisha. Phenotypic changes and molecular aberrations were examined using cell culture-based assays and mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomic analysis, respectively. Bioinformatics analysis was utilized to analyze proteomics data and identify dysregulated pathways. Our data indicate that chronic treatment with waterpipe tobacco extracts increased proliferation, invasion, migration, and significant dysregulation of protein expression in oral keratinocytes. Altered expression of proteins involved in interferon signaling pathway were observed with both varieties of tobacco. Overexpression of cholesterol metabolism and vesicle-mediated transport proteins were identified exclusively in cells treated with crude tobacco extract. Bioinformatics analyses revealed different oncogenic response in oral cells based on the type of waterpipe tobacco used. This study may serve as a useful resource in understanding the early onset of oral cancer attributed to waterpipe smoking. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Niraj Babu, Shankargouda Patil, Sonali V Mohan, Tejaswini Subbannayya, Jayshree Advani, Keshava K Datta, Pavithra Rajagopalan, Firdous Ahmad Bhat, David Sidransky, Harsha Gowda, Aditi Chatterjee. Signaling alterations in oral keratinocytes in response to shisha and crude tobacco extract. Journal of oral pathology & medicine : official publication of the International Association of Oral Pathologists and the American Academy of Oral Pathology. 2021 May;50(5):459-469

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PMID: 33369783

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