Kallikrein 4 is expressed in malignant mesothelioma – Further evidence for the histogenetic link between mesothelial and epithelial cells

Diagnostic Cytopathology. 2007 Feb;35(2):80-4. [Link]

Davidson B, Xi Z, Saatcioglu F.

Pathology Clinic, Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet Medical Center, Montebello, N-0310 Oslo, Norway. ben.davidson@radiumhospitalet.no


The objective of this study was to analyze Kallikrein 4 protein (hK4) expression in effusions and solid tumors of patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma (MM) and compare hK4 expression in MM with that in breast and ovarian adenocarcinomas. Sections from 65 MM (21 effusions, 44 solid tumors) and 63 breast carcinomas (28 effusions, 35 solid tumors) were stained for hK4 using immunohistochemistry. Results were compared with our previously published data for 284 ovarian carcinomas (181 effusions, 103 solid tumors). Expression of hK4 was detected in 26/65 (40%) MM and 52/63 (83%) breast carcinomas. Ovarian carcinoma showed staining values that were comparable to those in breast carcinoma (expression of hK4 in 144/181; 80% effusions and 85/103; 83% solid tumors). As opposed to our previous findings in ovarian carcinoma, hK4 expression was higher in solid tumors when compared with to effusions in both MM (P = 0.013) and breast carcinoma (P = 0.002). Comparative analysis of the three tumor types showed significantly higher expression in ovarian and breast adenocarcinomas when compared with MM (P < 0.001). In conclusion, hK4 is frequently expressed in MM, with higher levels detected in solid tumors, although its expression is more limited than in gynecological adenocarcinomas. The presence of hK4 in MM, a non-hormonally regulated tumor, provides further support to the histogenetic link between mesothelial and epithelial cells.