The genomic and proteomic landscape in oral lichen planus versus oral squamous cell carcinoma: a scoping review

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Background: Oral lichen planus (OLP), a World Health Organization (WHO)-classified oral potentially malignant condition, confers a 1% risk of transformation to oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). There does not appear to be a consensus understanding of the underlying molecular events. This scoping review aimed to identify critical molecular pathways and highlight gaps in existing knowledge on malignant transformation in OLP. Methods: Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) guidelines, a comprehensive literature search and methodical screening identified 61 relevant studies detailing molecular differences between OLP and OSCC. Results: Molecular changes shared between OLP and OSCC included those affecting cellular proliferation (altered p53 expression, hypermethylation of p16/CDKN2A, MYC gains, increased ki-67), apoptosis (increased bcl-2 and survivin expression), extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling (increased matrix metalloproteinase [MMP] expression), and transcriptional control (altered bmi1 and microRNA [miRNA] expression). In addition, some molecular alterations accumulated incrementally from control to OLP to OSCC or were present in higher-risk erosive variants of OLP or transformed OLP. Few studies included rigorous diagnostic inclusion criteria or unbiased discovery methods. Conclusions: Results of this review support the potentially malignant nature of OLP and imply that molecular events associated with malignant transformation may be heterogeneous. In addition, findings in this review highlight the need for additional studies using rigorous diagnostic inclusion criteria and unbiased discovery methods to further understand this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1236
Number of pages10
JournalInternational journal of dermatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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