These authors contributed equally to this work
The utility of ATF3 in distinguishing cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma among other cutaneous epithelial neoplasms
Article first published online: 5 JUL 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Journal of Cutaneous Pathology
Volume 39, Issue 8, pages 762–768, August 2012
How to Cite
The utility of ATF3 in distinguishing cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma among other cutaneous epithelial neoplasms., , , , , , .
- Issue published online: 29 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 5 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 10 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 27 MAR 2012
- actinic keratosis;
- squamous cell carcinoma
The histopathologic distinction between benign and malignant cutaneous keratinocytic proliferations can pose a difficult diagnostic challenge – often with important clinical implications. Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) has emerged as a potential biomarker which may aid in the segregation of these lesions, and we hypothesize that ATF3 expression may be a specific marker of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Using immunohistochemistry, we characterized ATF3 expression in a series of 126 cutaneous epithelial proliferations, including SCC (n = 27), basal cell carcinomas (BCC, n = 59), seborrheic keratoses with atypia (SK, n = 16), hyperplastic actinic keratoses (AK, n = 12) and prurigo nodularis cases (PN, n = 12). We showed strong, nuclear and/or nucleolar expression of ATF3 in a statistically significant number of cases of SCC compared to BCC, SK and PN. We conclude that ATF3 expression is a surrogate of malignancy (or pre-malignancy) in keratinocytic epithelial proliferations and thus helps distinguish SCC from other cutaneous epithelial neoplasms.