T311--an anti-tyrosinase monoclonal antibody for the detection of melanocytic lesions in paraffin embedded tissues

Pathol Res Pract. 2000;196(4):235-42. doi: 10.1016/S0344-0338(00)80072-2.


Tyrosinase is a key enzyme in melanin biosynthesis and represents a marker of melanocytic differentiation. We previously generated T311, a murine monoclonal antibody to the tyrosinase recombinant protein. This study was performed to evaluate T311 as a diagnostic immunohistochemical reagent for use on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded pathological material. We analyzed the specificity of the antibody on a panel of normal and neoplastic tissues, and we assessed its sensitivity in a large number of metastatic and primary malignant melanomas, nevi, three angiomyolipomas, and two vitiligo specimens. T311 revealed intense reactivity on paraffin-embedded material. Immunoreactivity was limited to cells of melanocytic differentiation and no immunostaining was present in unrelated normal tissues and tumors. Eighty-four percent of metastatic malignant melanomas were immunoreactive with T311 and showed predominantly a homogeneous expression pattern. However, in primary melanomas of the desmoplastic/spindle cell type, T311 revealed a poor immunoreactivity. Nevi showed intense staining at the junctional zone, while the dermal component revealed decreasing reactivity towards deeper areas. Only one angiomyolipoma was focally immunoreactive with T311. Vitiligo specimens were immunonegative. We conclude that T311 is a specific and sensitive marker for the detection of melanocytic lesions in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues and a useful serological reagent for diagnostic pathology.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Melanocytes / enzymology*
  • Melanocytes / pathology
  • Melanoma / enzymology*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / analysis*
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / immunology
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Skin / enzymology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase