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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2004 Mar;130(3):161-8. Epub 2003 Dec 20.

PTEN immunohistochemical expression is suppressed in G1 endometrioid adenocarcinoma of the uterine corpus.

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Department of Clinical Cytology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kitasato University, Kitasato, Kanagawa, Japan.



PTEN is a tumor suppressor gene that inhibits cell proliferation by regulating intracellular signaling pathways, and this activity can be abolished by mutations of the PTEN gene. This study was designed to examine the correlation of PTEN expression with the expression of cell cycle regulators and with clinicopathological parameters in endometrioid adenocarcinoma of the uterine corpus.


Tissue samples of 117 endometrioid adenocarcinomas in addition to those of 19 normal endometria and 20 endometrial hyperplasias were used for the study. Immunohistochemical staining for PTEN protein was performed with the labeled streptavidin-biotin method on formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue samples. PTEN expression was represented as the staining score.


Immunohistochemistry showed that the nuclei of cells were positive for PTEN. The PTEN staining score of normal endometrium was significantly higher in the proliferative phase than in the secretory phase. The scores of various endometrial hyperplasias were not significantly different from each other, regardless of the type of hyperplasia. The PTEN staining scores of endometrioid adenocarcinomas were 7.6+/-5.2 in G1, 9.6+/-5.2 in G2, and 11.9+/-3.7 in G3, and increased significantly as the histological grade increased. PTEN staining score was not significantly correlated with clinicopathological parameters such as FIGO stage, myometrial invasion, lymph-vascular space invasion (LVSI), lymph node metastasis or group, but was significantly correlated with labeling indices (LIs) of cell cycle regulators such as Ki-67, cdk2, cyclin A, cyclin D1, cyclin E, p27, and p53. The PTEN staining score of p53-wild cases was significantly lower than that of p53-mutant ones, but there was no significant difference of the score in cases with different PTEN gene status. PTEN expression was significantly lower in cases with both high levels of estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor.


PTEN protein expression was decreased in well-differentiated and less growth-aggressive endometrial carcinoma with wild-type p53 gene and high levels of ER and PR. This suggests that disturbed PTEN expression occurs in an early phase of the tumorigenesis of well-differentiated endometrial carcinoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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