Expression of astrocyte elevated gene‐1 protein in ameloblastomas, keratocystic odontogenic tumors, and dentigerous cysts
Background Benign epithelial odontogenic tumors such as ameloblastoma and keratocystic odontogenic tumor (KCOT) may exhibit an aggressive clinical course reminiscent of malignancies. Recent studies have indicated that astrocyte elevated gene‐1 (AEG‐1) is highly expressed in a variety of malignant neoplasms and its overexpression is associated with tumor invasion, metastasis, and poor survival. However, the role of AEG‐1 in odontogenic tumors and cysts is still undiscovered. Methods Immunohistochemical staining of AEG‐1 was performed in 42 cases of ameloblastoma, 29 cases of KCOT, and 19 cases of dentigerous cyst. Correlations between AEG‐1 expression and clinical parameters of ameloblastomas or KCOTs were statistically analyzed. Results AEG‐1‐positive staining was found in 37 (88%) of 42 ameloblastomas and in 24 (83%) of 29 KCOTs. None of 19 dentigerous cysts were positive for AEG‐1 protein. For ameloblastomas, AEG‐1 protein expression was significantly higher in ameloblast‐like cells than in stellate reticulum‐like cells ( P = 0.003). For KCOTs, AEG‐1 protein was diffusely expressed in all lining epithelial cells except the superficial parakeratinized cells. Moreover, the frequency of cortical plate perforation was significantly higher in ameloblastomas with high AEG‐1 expression than in ameloblastomas with low or negative AEG‐1 expression ( P = 0.043). Conclusion Significantly higher expression of AEG‐1 protein in ameloblastomas and KCOTs than in dentigerous cysts and significantly greater frequency of cortical plate perforation in high AEG‐1‐expressed ameloblastomas than in low or negative AEG‐1‐expressed ameloblastomas may imply the high potential of AEG‐1 to serve as a locally invasive biomarker and a target for novel therapy.
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