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Mod Pathol. 2012 Oct;25(10):1378-83. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2012.97. Epub 2012 Jul 6.

Expression of ERG, an Ets family transcription factor, identifies ERG-rearranged Ewing sarcoma.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA. wlwang@mdanderson.org

Abstract

ERG gene encodes for an Ets family regulatory transcription factor and is involved in recurrent chromosomal translocations found in a subset of acute myeloid leukemias, prostate carcinomas and Ewing sarcomas. The purpose of this study was to examine the utility of an ERG antibody to detect EWSR1-ERG rearranged Ewing sarcomas. A formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue microarray and whole-tissue sections from 32 genetically characterized Ewing sarcomas were examined: 22 with EWSR1-FLI1, 8 with EWSR1-ERG and 2 with EWSR1-NFATC2. Immunohistochemistry was performed using a rabbit anti-ERG monoclonal antibody directed against the C-terminus of the protein and a mouse anti-FLI1 monoclonal antibody against a FLI1 Ets domain (C-terminus) fusion protein. Immunoreactivity was graded for extent and intensity of positive tumor cell nuclei. ERG labeling was seen in 7/8 EWSR1-ERG cases (predominantly diffuse (5+), moderate to strong), while only 3/24 non-EWR1-ERG cases showed labeling (very weak). FLI1 labeling was observed in 29/31 cases regardless of fusion variant; 23 displayed diffuse (5+) strong/moderate labeling (5/7 EWSR1-ERG, 18/22 EWSR1-FLI1). Both EWSR1-NFATC2 cases had weak reactivity with FLI1 and weak or no reactivity for ERG. In conclusion, strong nuclear ERG immunoreactivity is specific for Ewing sarcomas with EWSR1-ERG rearrangement. In contrast, FLI1 was not specific to rearrangement type, likely because of cross reactivity with the highly homologous Ets DNA-binding domain present in the C-terminus of both ERG and FLI1.

PMID:
22766791
DOI:
10.1038/modpathol.2012.97
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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