Expression profile of polycomb group proteins in odontogenic keratocyst and ameloblastoma

Acta Histochem. 2018 Apr;120(3):215-220. doi: 10.1016/j.acthis.2018.01.009. Epub 2018 Feb 4.


Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are repressive chromatin modifiers required for proliferation and development. PcG proteins form two large repressive complexes, namely, Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 and 2. These proteins have been shown to drive tumorigenesis by repressing cell-type specific sets of target genes. Using immunohistochemistry, we investigated the expression patterns of five human PcG proteins, including Bmi-1, Ring1b, Mel-18, Ezh2, and Suz12, in various cellular components of odontogenic keratocysts (OKCs), ameloblastomas and, pericoronal follicles (PFs). In OKCs, expression of PcG proteins were found in the majority of cases while the expression pattern was relatively different for each PcG proteins. All PcG proteins were strongly expressed in the basal cells while some proteins showed variable expression in the parabasal and luminal cell layer of OKCs. In ameloblastomas, almost all PcG proteins showed a similar expression pattern of moderate to strong staining in the peripheral ameloblast-like cells and metaplastic squamous cells. Some of the central stellate reticulum-like cells also showed positive reaction to most PcG proteins. In PFs, most PcG proteins were intensely expressed in odontogenic epithelium lining the follicles, except Mel-18 and Suz12. The present study provides the initial evidence regarding epigenetic involvement by PcG proteins in these odontogenic lesions. Although these proteins are known to be in the same repressive group proteins, differential expression patterns of these proteins in OKCs and ameloblastomas indicates that these proteins may play different roles in pathogenesis of these odontogenic lesions.

Keywords: Ameloblastoma; Epigenetics; Immunohistochemistry; Odontogenic keratocyst; PcG proteins.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ameloblastoma / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Jaw Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Odontogenic Cysts / pathology*
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins* / pharmacology
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Polycomb-Group Proteins