Article

Immunohistochemical expression of embryonic stem cell markers in malignant rhabdoid tumors

Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.
Pediatric and Developmental Pathology (Impact Factor: 0.86). 03/2011; 14(5):353-9. DOI: 10.2350/10-09-0902-OA.1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Malignant rhabdoid tumor is a highly aggressive pediatric neoplasm molecularly characterized by inactivating mutations of the SMARCB1 gene, a potent tumor suppressor and member of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. It has been suggested that oncogenesis in SMARCB1-deficient cancers, such as malignant rhabdoid tumors, is driven not by the loss of SWI/SNF function but by an aberrant functioning of the BRG1-containing SWI/SNF complex. Since Brg1 is required for self-renewal and pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells, we hypothesized that the human malignant rhabdoid tumors may express pluripotency genes such as SALL4 , LIN28 , OCT3 and OCT4 (OCT3/4) , NANOG , and TCL1 . To test this hypothesis, we studied the immunohistochemical expression of SALL4, LIN28, OCT3/4, NANOG, and TCL1 in 11 malignant rhabdoid tumors of the central nervous system (atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors) and 5 malignant rhabdoid tumors of the kidney. Of the 16 malignant rhabdoid tumors, 14 (88%) tumors showed robust SALL4 and/or LIN28 expression. No tumor showed any significant OCT3/4, NANOG, or TCL1 expression. Our results suggest that malignant rhabdoid tumors may arise from and/or share features with embryonic stem cells or germ cells.

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