Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide and ranks fourth for the mortality rate of cancers in males in Taiwan. The oral microbiota is the microbial community in the oral cavity, which is essential for maintaining oral health, but the relationship between oral tumorigenesis and the oral microbiota remains to be clarified. This study evaluated the effect of microbiome dysbiosis on oral carcinogenesis in mice, and the impact of the microbiome and its metabolic pathways on regulating oral carcinogenesis. We found that antibiotics treatment decreases carcinogen-induced oral epithelial malignant transformation. Microbiome analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that the species richness of fecal specimens was significantly reduced in antibiotic-treated mice, while that in the salivary specimens was not decreased accordingly. Differences in bacterial composition, including Lactobacillus animalis abundance, in the salivary samples of cancer-bearing mice was dramatically decreased. L. animalis was the bacterial species that increased the most in the saliva of antibiotic-treated mice, suggesting that L. animalis may be negatively associated with oral carcinogenesis. In functional analysis, the microbiome in the saliva of the tumor-bearing group showed greater potential for polyamine biosynthesis. Immunochemical staining proved that spermine oxidase, an effective polyamine oxidase, was upregulated in mouse oral cancer lesions. In conclusion, oral microbiome dysbiosis may alter polyamine metabolic pathways and reduce carcinogen-induced malignant transformation of the oral epithelium.
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