Objectives: The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a newly recognized factor regulating cancer cell invasion and metastasis. Nevertheless, the involvement of RAGE in the development and progression of oral squamous cell carcinomas has not been elucidated. This study investigated the expression of RAGE in ten oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines including primary and metastatic cell lines and its association with invasion and metastasis. Methods: Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, antisense phosphorothioate (S)-oligodeoxynucleotide assay, preparation of antibody, immunohistochemical staining, immunoblot analysis, migration assay, in vitro invasion assay, and wound-healing assay were used. Results: RAGE protein expression of metastatic cancer cells treated with RAGE antisense S-oligodeoxynucleotide was significantly reduced compared to that of sense S-oligodeoxynucleotide-treated cells. The migration assay showed that invasive activity was significantly reduced in metastatic cancer cells treated with RAGE antisense S-oligodeoxynucleotide. Similarly, during invasion assays, numbers of invading cells were also reduced with the addition of RAGE antisense S-oligodeoxynucleotide-treated cells. A wound-healing assay showed that only a few RAGE antisense S-oligodeoxynucleotide-treated cancer cells migrated into the scraped area, whereas sense S-oligodeoxynucleotide-treated cells showed many budding nests in the scraped area of the metastatic cell lines. Immunohistochemically, oral squamous cell carcinoma cells in the tumour mesenchymal border were often immunopositive, whereas basal cells in the normal mucosa were scarcely positive. Conclusions: These results suggest that RAGE expression appears to be closely associated with the invasiveness of oral squamous cell carcinoma and represents a promising candidate for assessing the future therapeutic potential in treating patients with oral carcinoma.

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