Expression Analysis of FGF/FGFR and FOX Family Proteins in Mucosal Tissue Obtained from Orofacial Cleft-Affected Children

Māra Pilmane, Nityanand Jain (Coresponding Author), Zane Vitenberga-Verza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Orofacial clefts affect hundreds of thousands of children worldwide annually and are usually corrected by a series of surgeries extending to childhood. The underlying mechanisms that lead to clefts are still unknown, mainly because of the multifactorial etiology and the myriad of interactions between genes and environmental factors. In the present study, we investigated the role and expression of candidate genes belonging to the FGF/FGFR signaling pathway and FOX family in tissue material obtained from 12 pediatric patients undergoing cleft correction surgery. The expression was investigated using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and chromogenic in-situ hybridization (CISH) in three cell/tissue types—epithelial cells, connective tissue, and endothelial cells. We found elevated
expression of FGFR1 in epithelial cells while no expression was observed in endothelial cells. Further, our results elucidate the potential pathogenetic role of FGFR1 in cellular proliferation, local site inflammation, and fibrosis in cleft patients. Along with bFGF (also called FGF2), FGFR1 could play a pro-inflammatory role in clefts. Over-amplification of FGFR2 in some patients, along with bFGF, could potentially suggest roles for these genes in angiogenesis. Additionally, increased expression of FOXE1 (also called TTF2) contributes to local site inflammation. Finally, zero to low amplification of FOXO1 could suggest its potential role in inducing oxidative stress in the endothelium along with
reduced epithelial apoptosis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number423
Number of pages21
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2021


  • cleft palate
  • cleft lip
  • immunohistochemistry
  • in-situ hybridization
  • inflammation
  • FOXE1
  • FOXO1

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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