DEK expression in Merkel cell carcinoma and small cell carcinoma

Authors

  • Rajiv M. Patel,

    1. Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    2. Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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    • These authors equally contributed to this work.

  • Laura L. Walters,

    1. Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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    • These authors equally contributed to this work.

  • Ferdinand Kappes,

    1. Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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    • Present address: Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University Clinic, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.

  • Rohit Mehra,

    1. Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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  • Douglas R. Fullen,

    1. Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    2. Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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  • David M. Markovitz,

    1. Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    2. Program of Immunology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    3. Program in Cellular & Molecular Biology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    4. Program in Cancer Biology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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  • Linglei Ma

    1. Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    2. Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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Rajiv M. Patel, MD,

Department of Pathology,

University of Michigan Medical Center,

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0602, USA

Tel: 734 764 4460

Fax: 734 764 4690

e-mail: rajivpat@umich.edu

Abstract

Background

The chromatin architectural factor DEK maps to chromosome 6p and is frequently overexpressed in several neoplasms, including small cell lung carcinoma, where it is associated with poor prognosis, tumor initiation activity and chemoresistance. DEK expression has not been studied in cutaneous Merkel cell carcinoma.

Methods

We applied a DEK monoclonal antibody to 15 cases of Merkel cell carcinoma and 12 cases of small cell carcinoma. DEK nuclear immunoreactivity was scored based on percentage (0, negative; 1+, <25%; 2+, 25–50%; 3+, >50%) and intensity (weak, moderate or strong).

Results

All 15 Merkel cell carcinoma cases (100%) showed diffuse (3+) nuclear positivity (14 strong, 1 weak). Six of 12 small cell carcinoma cases (50%) showed diffuse (3+) and strong nuclear positivity, while one case exhibited focal (1+) weak nuclear positivity. The remaining five cases were negative for DEK expression.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that DEK may be involved in the pathogenesis of Merkel cell carcinoma and therefore may provide therapeutic implications for Merkel cell carcinomas. In addition, the difference in DEK expression between Merkel cell carcinoma and small cell carcinoma suggests possible separate tumorigenesis pathways for the two tumors.

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