Background.  RNA helicase p68 is a prototypic DEAD-box RNA helicase. Recent studies indicate that p68 plays important role in cancer development and progression. However, the role of p68 protein expression in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) remains unknown.

Aim.  To elucidate the expression of p68 protein in cutaneous SCC.

Methods.  The level of p68 protein was examined by double immunofluorescent staining in 24 samples of human cutaneous SCC tissue specimens and their adjacent tissues and in 6 normal foreskin samples to compare the expression of p68 with that of Ki-67.

Results.  Overexpression of p68 protein was seen in all 24 SCC cases (100%), whereas very low expression of p68 was detected in normal foreskin. Moreover, p68 protein expression was higher in cases of cutaneous SCC with metastasis than in cases without metastasis. Additionally, p68 had a similar expression pattern to that of Ki-67.

Conclusion.  The high frequency of p68 expression in cutaneous SCC indicates that p68 might be involved in the development and progression of cutaneous SCC.