Insulin-like Growth Factor II Messenger RNA-binding Protein 3 in Salivary Gland Tumors

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Insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein 3 (IMP3) is strongly expressed in malignant tumors and has been associated with their aggressive behavior. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of IMP3 in a series of salivary gland tumors. The sample consisted of 9 pleomorphic adenomas (PA), 14 adenoid cystic carcinomas (ACC), and 13 mucoepidermoid carcinomas (MEC) that were investigated by immunohistochemical technique. All cases of PA and MEC were positive for IMP3 particularly in the cytoplasm. PA showed 4 cases as high expression and 6 as low expression. MEC showed 10 cases as low expression and 3 as high expression. For ACC, 4 cases were high expression, whereas 6 cases were low expression. No significant difference was observed between tumors (P>0.05, Fisher’s test) when both scores of IMP3 were compared. This study showed that MEC seems to be more sensitive to IMP3 than ACC and provided an insight into this protein in salivary gland tumors. Furthermore, although IMP3 is not a specific diagnostic marker to distinguish the tumors studied, it seems to mediate cell adhesion and migration in these tumors. Further studies should be performed to better understand the IMP3 biology in salivary gland tumors.

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