Correlation of the expression of double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (p68) with differentiation in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

G. K. Haines, G. D. Ghadge, S. Becker, M. Kies, H. Pelzer, B. Thimmappaya, J. A. Radosevich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


p68 is an inducible protein kinase which is believed to be an important factor in the regulation of both viral and cellular protein synthesis. We have produced a monoclonal antibody (TJ4C4) which specifically detects p68, and which can be used to detect this antigen in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. Because p68 plays an important role in cellular protein synthesis, we hypothesized that it may correlate with normal and neoplastic cellular differentiation. One hundred and seventy-seven head and neck squamous cell carcinoma specimens, representing 82 patients, were studied. The relative amount, frequency, and distribution of p68 expression were determined by microscopic evaluation of ABC immunoperoxidase-stained specimens. A spectrum of immunoreactivity was detected in 156 of 177 tumors, as well as within the normal squamous epithelium. Normal, actively proliferating cells, such as the basal layer of squamous epithelium, expressed comparatively little p68. Increased p68 expression was noted to parallel the morphologic features of cellular differentiation. In neoplastic tissue, p68 expression also increased with the degree of cellular differentiation. These data demonstrate that the expression of p68 parallels the degree of cellular differentiation in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck region, as well as within normal squamous mucosa. Therefore, p68 may provide an objective biologic measure of cellular differentiation which does not depend on morphologic features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-295
Number of pages7
JournalVirchows Archiv B Cell Pathology Including Molecular Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1993


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • MCA TJ4C4
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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