Immunohistochemical evidence of PTEN in oral squamous cell carcinoma and its correlation with the histological malignancy grading system


Dr Décio Santos Pinto Jr
Department of Oral Pathology, School of Dentistry,
University of São Paulo, Av. Prof Lineu Prestes, 2227
São Paulo, 05508-900, Brazil


PTEN is a tumor suppressor gene that encodes a dual phosphatase protein capable of modulating membrane receptors and interaction of the cell and extracellular stimuli. PTEN regulates cell physiology such as division, differentiation/apoptosis and also migration and adhesion. The expression of PTEN was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in OSCC and compared to a well-established histological malignancy grading system. The well-differentiated OSCC were 59.1% and poorly differentiated were 40.9%. According to PTEN expression, the cases were 45.5% positive (the entire tumor showed stained), 22.7% mixed (both negative and positive cells were present) and 31.8% negative (no staining was seen in the tumor cells). PTEN expression in OSCC was related to the malignancy grade (P < 0.0005). Aggressive tumors with a high score of malignancy did not express PTEN, and clearly, the PTEN expression was present in the epithelium adjacent to the tumor. Negative cells were in the invasion border of the tumor. This result suggests that PTEN is related to histologic pattern and biological behavior of OSCC and may be a used as a prognostic marker in the future. The role of PTEN during carcinogenesis and as a biomarker should be further investigated.