Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name



Oral Biology

Committee Chair

Lamont, Richard J.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Darling, Douglas S.

Committee Member

Shumway, Brian S.


Porphyromonas gingivalis; Mouth--Cancer


A relationship between periodontal disease and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has been demonstrated in recent studies. Porphyromonas gingivalis’ antigen have been found in oral cancer cells. The embryonic program “epithelial-mesenchymal transition” (EMT) is thought to trigger cancer invasion by allowing tumor cell propagation. The objective of this study was to examine the role of P. gingivalis in the expression of ZEB1, vimentin, and repression of miRNA-200 family as EMT prognostic markers in cancer cell metastasis. Human telomerase immortalized gingival keratinocytes (TIGK) cells were challenged with P. gingivalis strain ATCC 33277 in vitro for 24h at MOI 50 and 100. Expression of ZEB1, and vimentin mRNA levels was determined using qRT-PCR. The expression of ZEB1 and vimentin was up egulated 2.5-fold, and 3-fold respectively, while that of miRNA-200 family was repressed in P. gingivalis infected TIGK cells compared to controls. P. gingivalis infected cells invaded Matrigel-coated Transwell membrane compared to non-infected cells. Knockdown of ZEB1 reduced the invasiveness of P. gingivalis infected TIGK cells. Thus, the presence of P. gingivalis in the periodontium of cancer patients may contribute significantly to the overexpression of ZEB1, and vimentin as crucial promoters of oral squamous cell cancer invasion.

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