Keratocystic odontogenic tumor overexpresses invadopodia-related proteins, suggesting invadopodia formation

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Keratocystic odontogenic tumor (KOT) is an odontogenic neoplasm that shows aggressive clinical behavior and local invasiveness. Invadopodia are actin-rich cellular protrusions exhibiting proteolytic pericellular activity, thereby inducing focal invasion in neoplastic cells and increasing neoplasms aggressiveness. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate immunoexpression of invadopodia-related proteins, cortactin, MT1-MMP, Tks4, and Tks5, in KOT.

Study Design.

Immunohistochemistry of 16 cases of KOT, eight cases of calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor (CCOT), and eight samples of the oral mucosa (OM) was carried out to assess the expression of the above described invadopodia-related proteins in the basal and suprabasal layer.


KOT samples showed higher and significant immunoexpression of cortactin, MT1-MMP, TKs4, and TKs5 compared with the CCOT and OM samples. Significant expression of all these proteins was observed in the basal layer compared with the suprabasal layer in KOT.


Overexpression of cortactin, MT1-MMP, TKs4, and TKs5 was observed in KOT compared with samples of CCOT and OM. These proteins were also overexpressed in the basal over the suprabasal layer of KOT samples. Taken together, these results suggest the participation of invadopodia-related proteins on the pathogenesis of this lesion.

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