JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Expression of aberrant beta-catenin and impaired p63 in craniopharyngiomas.

Craniopharyngiomas are rare, histologically benign, non-neuroepithelial epithelial tumors arising from the sellar region, the molecular pathogenesis of CPs is yet not understood. The aim of the present study was to assess expression of aberrant beta-catenin and impaired p63 in 66 craniopharyngiomas included 51 adamantinomatous craniopharyngiomas and 15 squamous papillary craniopharyngiomas. On immunohistochemistry, 47 out of 51 adamantinomatous craniopharyngiomas, but not squamous papillary craniopharyngiomas, showed strong nuclear/cytoplasmic expression for beta-catenin predominantly in compactly cohesive epithelial cells within the whorl-like arrays where ki-67 was almost absent and rarely in palisaded cells where ki-67 was mainly present. P63 overexpression was observed in 45 out of 51 adamantinomatous craniopharyngiomas and 14 out of 15 squamous papillary craniopharyngiomas. P63 stained not only in the nuclei of basal layer cells but also within the whorl-like arrays in adamantinomatous craniopharyngiomas and uniformly in squamous papillary craniopharyngiomas. Using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction techniques to correlate p63 protein expression with p63 mRNA levels, TAp63 isoforms mRNA was reduced, whereas DeltaNp63 mRNA elevated at levels in 5 snap frozen tissue samples with multiple large p63 positive cell clusters compared with normal tissues. In conclusion, the present study confirmed that the two variants of CPs have genetically not only distinctive but also common feature. It demonstrated that cytoplasm/nuclear beta-catenin accumulation is an exclusively characteristic morphology of adaCPs. P63 immunohistochemical overexpression were found in both adaCPs and spCPs variant when analyzed in the same study. Taken together, the impaired p63 expression may be attributed to elevated DeltaNp63 mRNA and reduced TAp63mRNA in CPs.

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