Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Stomatol. Feb 20, 2015; 4(1): 22-28
Published online Feb 20, 2015. doi: 10.5321/wjs.v4.i1.22
Unraveling the role of epidermal growth factor receptor in oral lesions: Key to non surgical treatment modes
Bhavna Chulliparampil Mohan, Punnya Vaijanath Angadi
Bhavna Chulliparampil Mohan, Department of Oral Pathology and Medicine, Annoor Dental College, Muvattupuzha, Kerala 686673, India
Punnya Vaijanath Angadi, Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, KLEVK Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Belgaum 590010, Karnataka, India
Author contributions: Mohan BC and Angadi PV contributed equally to this work, generated figures and wrote the manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accor dance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Dr. Punnya Vaijanath Angadi, Reader, Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, KLEVK Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Nehrunagar, Belgaum 590010, Karnataka, India.
Telephone: +91-98-80845530 Fax: +91-08-312470640
Received: July 4, 2014
Peer-review started: July 6, 2014
First decision: September 16, 2014
Revised: December 11, 2014
Accepted: December 29, 2014
Article in press: December 31, 2014
Published online: February 20, 2015

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a transmembrane receptor with tyrosine kinase activity, mediating actions of various growth factors including EGF, transforming growth factor-α, and neuregulins. Protein binding to ligand induces receptor modification, tyrosine autophosphorylation leading to cell signaling resulting in cellular proliferation. This receptor plays diverse roles in maintaining homeostasis and recent molecular advances identify that EGFR mutations are linked to several carcinomas. EGFR plays important roles in the development and maintenance of various oral structures, tooth development, eruption and morphogenesis. EGFR expression has also been studied in diverse oral pathologies like squamous cell carcinomas, potentially malignant lesions, lichen planus, salivary gland tumors and odontogenic cysts and tumours. The present review delves into the various general features of EGFR with an insight into its physiological and pathological role in the oral cavity. The clinical implications and upcoming role of EGFR inhibitors in the nonsurgical treatment of oral lesions has also been discussed.

Keywords: Epidermal growth factor, Epidermal growth factor receptor, Oral pathology, Cetuximab

Core tip: This review addresses the importance and need to understand epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) related pathogenesis in oral lesions and the possible effectiveness of anti-EGFR agents in treating these conditions.