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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Podocalyxin-like protein 1 expression in primary hepatic tumours and tumour-like lesions.

AIMS: The differential diagnosis of benign hepatic lesions and well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinomas can be a challenge, especially in small biopsy specimens. Recently, novel proteins expressed by the neovasculature in hepatocellular carcinoma ( HCC) have been identified. The aim of this study was to compare the expression of podocalyxin-like protein 1 (PODXL1), a CD34-related sialomucin, in HCC and benign liver tumours or tumour-like lesions. METHODS AND RESULTS: Vascular marker expression was examined using tissue microarrays as well as standard paraffin sections from formalin fixed paraffin-embedded liver tissue samples. Expression of PODXL1 was compared with anti-CD34, CD31 and von Willebrand factor VIII staining by immunohistochemistry. PODXL1 is expressed in tumour- associated microvasculature endothelial cells in HCC, as well as in capillarized sinusoidal endothelium of focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) and hepatic adenoma. Expression in cirrhotic nodules correlates with CD34 and highlights endothelium in the inflow area. In dysplastic nodules CD34 and PODXL1 are not or only focally expressed. CONCLUSIONS: Expression patterns of CD34 and PODXL1 are almost identical in primary hepatic tumours and tumour-like lesions. The presence of CD34+ and PODXL1+ sinusoidal endothelial cells aids in the diagnosis of HCC. Sinusoidal expression of PODXL1 is also seen in a less diffuse pattern in FNH and adenoma.[1]


  1. Podocalyxin-like protein 1 expression in primary hepatic tumours and tumour-like lesions. Heukamp, L.C., Fischer, H.P., Schirmacher, P., Chen, X., Breuhahn, K., Nicolay, C., Büttner, R., Gütgemann, I. Histopathology (2006) [Pubmed]
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