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The present study sought to evaluate and compare the immunoexpression of proteins minichromosome maintenance (MCM) 3 and Ki-67 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) to assess the potential of these proteins as markers of cellular proliferation. Twenty-eight cases of OSCC, 9 of tumor-free resection margins (TM), and 4 of non-neoplastic oral mucosa (NNM) were subjected to immunohistochemistry to detect the expression of proteins MCM3 and Ki-67. All OSCCs demonstrated positivity for both proteins. In these tumors, greater MCM3 immunoreactivity was observed in comparison with Ki-67, whereas TMs and NNMs exhibited greater Ki-67 expression compared with MCM3. The immunoexpression of Ki-67 seemed to be influenced by the inflammatory process, particularly in TM and NNM. Our findings indicate that although both MCM3 and Ki-67 represent reliable markers of cellular proliferation in OSCC, as MCM3 expression does not appear to be influenced by external factors, this protein may emerge as a novel marker of cellular proliferation in these types of tumors.