Expression of hMLH1 and hMSH2 proteins in ameloblastomas and tooth germs
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Background: Mismatch repair proteins (MMRPs) are a group of nuclear enzymes that participate in the repair of base mismatches that occur during DNA replication in all proliferating cells. The most studied MMRPs are hMSH2 and hMLH1, which are known to be highly expressed in normal tissues. A loss of MMRPs leads to the accumulation of DNA replication errors in proliferating cells. Ki-67 is a biomarker regarded to be the gold-standard tool for determining cell proliferation by immunohistochemical methods. The aim of this study was to investigate the immunohistochemical expression of hMLH1, hMSH2 and Ki-67 proteins in ameloblastomas and tooth germs, to contribute to the understanding of the development of this odontogenic neoplasm. Material and Methods: Immunohistochemical assays to determine the presence of proteins hMSH2, hMLH1 and Ki-67 were performed in 80 ameloblastomas (40 solid and 40 unicystic) and five tooth germs. Results: Unicystic ameloblastomas showed higher MMRP expression (hMLH1: 62.5 ± 43.4; hMSH2: 83.3 ± 47.8) than did solid ameloblastomas (hMLH1: 59.4 ± 13.5; hMSH2: 75.8 ± 40.2). Additionally, the cell proliferation index assessed by Ki-67 was inversely proportional to the expression of MMRP. Comparison between tooth germs and ameloblastoma revealed significantly higher expression of hMLH1, hMSH2 and Ki-67 in tooth germs (p=0.02). Conclusions: The differences of MMRP and Ki-67 immunoexpression between ameloblastomas and tooth germ suggest that alterations in the MMRP mechanisms could participate in the biological behavior of ameloblastomas. © Medicina Oral S. L. C.I.F. B.
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