Dickkopf (Dkk)-3 and β-catenin expressions increased in the transition from normal oral mucosal to oral squamous cell carcinoma

Masae Fujii, Naoki Katase, Mathieu Lefeuvre, Mehmet Gunduz, Rosario Rivera Buery, Ryo Tamamura, Hidetsugu Tsujigiwa, Hitoshi Nagatsuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


Dickkopf (Dkk)-3, an inhibitor of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, is reported as a potential tumor suppressor gene in many cancers. To gain a better comprehension of the mechanisms involved in the carcinogenesis of oral squamous epithelium, protein expression and localization of Dkk-3 and β-catenin was investigated in normal epithelium, dysplasias and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). An increase in β-catenin and Ki-67 expressions was observed from dysplasias to poorly differentiated SCC. Interestingly, an increase in Dkk-3 positive cells was also noted, which was correlated to the cancer progression step. A change in Dkk-3 localization during the transformation of normal oral epithelium to SCC was clearly observed. Dkk-3 was localized in the cell membrane in normal oral epithelium and in dysplasias, whereas that was localized in both cell membrane and cytoplasm in SCC. These results suggest that Dkk-3 is involved in the carcinogenesis of SCC with a distinct function from those in other cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-504
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Histology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011



  • β-catenin
  • Dkk-3
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Oral squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • Physiology

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