Hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT1), as a salvage pathway enzyme, plays a crucial role in modulating the cell cycle and has been reported to be overexpressed in multiple cancers. Nevertheless, the relationship between the HPRT1 and Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas (HNSCC) has not been investigated so far. We first evaluated the expression of HPRT1 at transcriptomic and proteomic levels in tumor and healthy control tissues and its clinical value using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), Human Protein Atlas, Kaplan-Meier Plotter databases, GSE107591, and quantitative real-time PCR analysis. Then, we employed the COSMIC and cBioPortal databases to assess the mutations of the HPRT1 gene and their association with survival outcomes of patients with HNSCC. Finally, we performed the functional enrichment analysis for HPRT1 co-expressed genes in HNSCC utilizing the Enrichr database. The mRNA and protein expressions of HPRT1 were significantly elevated in HNSCC compared with normal tissues. Besides, the upregulation of HPRT1 expression was correlated with age, sex, pathological stage, and histological grades of HNSCC patients. Moreover, the increased expression of HPRT1 in cancer tissues exhibited a strong capacity for being a promising biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with HNSCC. The co-expressed genes of HPRT1 were mainly enriched in several cancer-related processes such as DNA replication and cell cycle. The present study demonstrated that the overexpression of HPRT1 is significantly correlated with the progression of HNSCC and may serve as a useful biomarker for the early detection and risk stratification of patients with HNSCC.
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