Molecular pathogenesis of ameloblastoma

J Oral Pathol Med. 2024 May;53(5):277-293. doi: 10.1111/jop.13538. Epub 2024 Apr 25.


Ameloblastoma (AM) is a benign, although aggressive, epithelial odontogenic tumour originating from tooth-forming tissues or remnants. Its aetiopathogenesis remains unclear; however, molecular analysis techniques have allowed researchers to progress in understanding its genetic basis. The high frequency of BRAF p.V600E as a main driver mutation in AM is well established; nevertheless, it is insufficient to explain its tumourigenesis. In this review, we aimed to integrate the current knowledge about the biology of AM and to describe the main genetic alterations reported, focusing on the findings of large-scale sequencing and gene expression profiling techniques. Current evidence shows that besides BRAF mutation and activation of the MAPK pathway, alterations in Hedgehog and Wnt/β-catenin pathway-related genes are also involved in AM pathogenesis. Recently, a tumour suppressor gene, KMT2D, has been reported as mutated by different research groups. The biological impact of these mutations in the pathogenesis of AM has yet to be elucidated. Further studies are needed to clarify the impact of these findings in the identification of novel biomarkers that could be useful for diagnosing, classifying, and molecular targeting this neoplasm.

Keywords: ameloblastoma; genome; molecular targeted therapy; transcriptome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ameloblastoma* / genetics
  • Ameloblastoma* / pathology
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Hedgehog Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Jaw Neoplasms / genetics
  • Mutation*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf* / genetics
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / genetics