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Mod Pathol. 2009 Dec;22(12):1541-7. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2009.149. Epub 2009 Oct 9.

Carboxypeptidase M: a biomarker for the discrimination of well-differentiated liposarcoma from lipoma.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


The discrimination between well-differentiated liposarcomas/atypical lipomatous tumors and lipomas can be diagnostically challenging at the histological level. However, cytogenetic identification of ring and giant rod chromosomes supports the diagnosis of well-differentiated liposarcoma/atypical lipomatous tumor. These abnormal chromosomes are mainly composed of amplified genomic sequences derived from chromosome 12q13-15, and contain several genes, including MDM2, CDK4 (SAS), TSPAN31, HMGA2, and others. MDM2 is consistently amplified in well-differentiated liposarcomas/atypical lipomatous tumors, and up to 25% in other sarcomas. As part of a large genomic study of lipomatous neoplasms, we initially found CPM to be consistently amplified in well-differentiated liposarcomas/atypical lipomatous tumors. To further explore this initial finding, we investigated the copy number status of MDM2 and CPM by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) on a series of 138 tumors and 17 normal tissues, including 32 well-differentiated liposarcoma/atypical lipomatous tumors, 63 lipomas, 11 pleomorphic lipomas, 2 lipoblastomas, 30 other tumors and 17 normal fat samples. All 32 well-differentiated liposarcoma/atypical lipomatous tumors showed amplification of MDM2 and CPM, usually >20 copies per cell. The other tumors lacked MDM2 and/or CPM amplification. Chromogenic in situ hybridization confirmed the above results on a subset of these tumors (n=27). These findings suggest that identification of CPM amplification could be used as an alternative diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of well-differentiated liposarcoma/atypical lipomatous tumors.

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