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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Psoriasin (S100A7) expression is altered during skin tumorigenesis

Salem Alowami, Gefei Qing, Ethan Emberley, Linda Snell and Peter H Watson*

Author Affiliations

Department of Pathology, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Medicine, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3E OW3

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BMC Dermatology 2003, 3:1  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-3-1

Published: 24 February 2003

Abstract

Background

Psoriasin (S100A7) expression has previously been associated with psoriasiform hyperplasia as well as with tumor progression in breast cancer. Its expression profile for different stages of skin lesions is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between psoriasin (S100A7) and tumor progression in skin.

Methods

Psoriasin was assessed by immunohistochemistry and levels of expression determined by semi-quantitative scoring in skin biopsies from 50 patients. The cohort included normal skin, actinic keratosis, squamous carcinoma in-situ, invasive squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.

Results

In normal skin, psoriasin was rarely detected in epidermis but was expressed in underlying adnexae. In abnormal epidermis psoriasin was frequently expressed in abnormal keratinocytes in actinic keratosis, in-situ and invasive squamous cell carcinoma, but was rarely observed in the basal epidermal layer or in superficial or invasive basal cell carcinoma. The highest levels of expression were seen within squamous carcinoma in-situ. Significantly reduced levels of expression were observed in both unmatched (p = 0.0001) and matched (p < 0.004) invasive squamous cell carcinoma. Psoriasin expression within abnormal squamous lesions correlated with mitotic count (r = 0.54, p = 0.0036), however no significant relation was found with the intensity of dermal inflammatory cell infiltrates assessed within each pathology.

Conclusion

These results suggest that altered psoriasin expression occurs in abnormal epidermis and that downregulation may be related to the onset of invasion in squamous cell carcinoma in skin.