Novel markers of squamous differentiation in the urinary bladder

Wenbin Huang, Sean R. Williamson, Qiu Rao, Antonio Lopez-Beltran, Rodolfo Montironi, John N. Eble, David J. Grignon, Muhammad T. Idrees, Robert E. Emerson, Xiao Jun Zhou, Shaobo Zhang, Lee Ann Baldridge, Noah M. Hahn, Mingsheng Wang, Michael O. Koch, Liang Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Summary Urinary bladder squamous cell carcinoma and urothelial carcinoma with squamous differentiation are often high-grade and high-stage tumors that are thought to be associated with a poorer prognosis and response to therapy compared with urothelial carcinoma without divergent differentiation. Therefore, recognition of a squamous component is increasingly important in guiding prognosis and therapy. We investigated the expression of MAC387, desmoglein-3, and TRIM29 in pure squamous cell carcinoma and urothelial carcinoma with squamous differentiation to determine whether they have utility as diagnostic biomarkers for squamous differentiation. Eighty-four cases were retrieved from participating institutions including 51 pure urinary bladder squamous cell carcinomas and 33 urothelial carcinomas with squamous differentiation. MAC387, desmoglein-3, and TRIM29 antibodies demonstrated positive staining in pure squamous cell carcinoma in 51 (100%), 46 (90%), and 48 (93%) cases, respectively. Urothelial carcinoma with squamous differentiation showed reactivity for MAC387, desmoglein-3, and TRIM29 in the squamous component for 32 (97%), 26 (79%), and 32 (97%) cases, respectively. MAC387 demonstrated a sensitivity of 99% and a specificity of 70% for squamous differentiation, whereas desmoglein-3 yielded a sensitivity of 86% and a specificity of 91%. No urothelial component showed greater than 10% labeling for desmoglein-3. TRIM29 labeling showed a sensitivity of 95%, but a poorer specificity of 33%. In summary, MAC387 and desmoglein-3 are reliable diagnostic markers for supporting the morphologic impression of squamous differentiation in urinary bladder carcinoma. Desmoglein-3 shows high specificity, whereas TRIM29 was most likely to demonstrate labeling in areas without light microscopically recognizable squamous differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1989-1997
Number of pages9
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Desmoglein-3
  • MAC387
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • TRIM29
  • Urinary bladder
  • Urothelial carcinoma with mixed differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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