The special AT-rich sequence-binding protein 2 (SATB2), a nuclear matrix-associated transcription factor and epigenetic regulator, was identified as a tissue type-specific protein when screening protein expression patterns in human normal and cancer tissues using an antibody-based proteomics approach. In this respect, the SATB2 protein shows a selective pattern of expression and, within cells of epithelial lineages, SATB2 expression is restricted to glandular cells lining the lower gastrointestinal tract. The expression of SATB2 protein is primarily preserved in cancer cells of colorectal origin, indicating that SATB2 could function as a clinically useful diagnostic marker to distinguish colorectal cancer (CRC) from other types of cancer. The aim of this study was to further explore and validate the specific expression pattern of SATB2 as a clinical biomarker and to compare SATB2 with the well-known cytokeratin 20 (CK20). Immunohistochemistry was used to analyze the extent of SATB2 expression in tissue microarrays with tumors from 9 independent cohorts of patients with primary and metastatic CRCs (n=1882). Our results show that SATB2 is a sensitive and highly specific marker for CRC with distinct positivity in 85% of all CRCs, and that SATB2 and/or CK20 was positive in 97% of CRCs. In conclusion, the specific expression of SATB2 in a large majority of CRCs suggests that SATB2 can be used as an important complementary tool for the differential diagnosis of carcinoma of unknown primary origin.