Clinicopathological significance of DEK overexpression in serous ovarian tumors

Pathol Int. 2009 Jul;59(7):443-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1827.2009.02392.x.


To investigate the significance of DEK protein expression in ovarian lesions, a total of 113 ovarian serous tumors, including 62 serous cystadenocarcinomas and 19 serous borderline tumors, were studied on immunohistochemistry. For comparison, 32 benign serous tumors, including 12 serous papillary cystadenomas, 10 serous cystadenomas, and 10 serous surface papillomas, were also included. DEK was positive in 93.5% of serous cystadenocarcinomas (58/62), 63.2% of serous borderline tumors (12/19), and weakly positive in 15.6% of benign serous tumors (5/32). The strong positive signal was detected only in serous adenocarcinomas (80.6%, 50/62) and borderline tumors (21.1%, 4/19), but no serous benign tumors were strongly positive (0%, 0/32). Meanwhile, the strong positivity rate of DEK protein was significantly higher in grade 2 and grade 3 than in grade 1 ovarian cancers (P < 0.05), but there was no significant association between DEK protein expression level and International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage of serous ovarian adenocarcinoma (P > 0.05). In summary, DEK plays an important role in the progression of ovarian serous cancers. The detection of DEK protein expression should be useful for the diagnosis and prognosis of ovarian serous cancers, and DEK might be a useful molecular target for ovarian cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / biosynthesis*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / metabolism
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology*
  • Cystadenoma, Serous / metabolism
  • Cystadenoma, Serous / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Oncogene Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins
  • Tissue Array Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Dek protein, human
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins