Expression of odontogenic ameloblast-associated protein, amelotin, ameloblastin, and amelogenin in odontogenic tumors: immunohistochemical analysis and pathogenetic considerations


Marcelo Macedo Crivelini, DDS, PhD, Department of Pathology and Clinical Propaedeutic, Araçatuba School of Dentistry, Unesp – Univ Estadual Paulista, Rua José Bonifácio, 1193, CEP l6015-050, Araçatuba, SP, Brazil. Tel: +55 18 36362866, Fax: +55 18 36362761, E-mail:


J Oral Pathol Med (2012) 41: 272–280

Screening for expression of amelogenesis-related proteins represents a powerful molecular approach to characterize odontogenic tumors and investigate their pathogenesis. In this study, we have examined the presence and distribution of odontogenic ameloblast-associated protein (ODAM), amelotin (AMTN), ameloblastin (AMBN), and amelogenin (AMEL) by immunohistochemistry in samples of adenomatoid odontogenic tumor (AOT), calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumor (CEOT), developing odontoma, ameloblastoma, calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor (CCOT), ameloblastic fibroma (AF), myxoma, odontogenic fibroma (OF), and reduced enamel epithelia (REE). Positive results were obtained in those tumors with epithelial component, except for AF, OF, and ameloblastoma. ODAM was found around mineralized structures (dystrophic calcifications) and CEOT’s amyloid, whereas AMTN stained the eosinophilic material of AOTs. The CCOT transitory cells to ghost cells were strongly positive with all proteins except AMEL, and the REE as well as odontomas showed immunoexpression for ODAM, AMTN, AMBN, and AMEL similar to those found in normal rat tooth germs. Based on these results, some histopathogenetic theories were formulated.