Journal of cellular and molecular medicine

The novel protein PTPIP51 is expressed in human keratinocyte carcinomas and their surrounding stroma.

PMID 19012732


The novel protein PTPIP51 (SwissProt accession code Q96SD6) is known to interact with two non-transmembrane protein-tyrosine phosphatases, PTP1B and TCPTP in vitro. Overexpression of the full-length protein induces apoptosis in HeLa and HEK293T cells (Lv et al. 2006). PTPIP51 shows a tissue-specific expression pattern and is associated with cellular differentiation and apoptosis in some mammalian tissues, especially in human follicular and interfollicular epidermis. PTPIP51 protein is expressed in all suprabasal layers of normal epidermis, whereas the basal layer contains PTPIP51 mRNA only but lacks the protein. The expression of PTPIP51 was investigated in keratinocyte carcinomas, that is human basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) as well as Bowen's disease (BD) and keratoacanthomas (KAs) on a transcriptional (mRNA) and translational (immunohistochemical) level. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections of BCCs, SCCs, KAs and BD, respectively, were analysed by RT-PCR, as well as immunohistochemistry and subsequent fluorescence microscopy. PTPIP51-positive cells of the tumour and the surrounding stroma were identified on the basis of specific morphological features by means of H & E staining. To obtain further information about a putative function of PTPIP51, a possible association of PTPIP51 with apoptotic cells, as well as an assumed negative correlation with proliferating cells was investigated by means of an in-situ TUNEL assay and Ki67/MIB-1 antigen staining, respectively. Co-immunostainings with PTPIP51 were performed for the following antigens: TCPTP, PTP1B and beta-catenin. PTPIP51-expression was detected in BCCs and SCCs of the skin, as well as in KAs and BD. Both types of keratinocyte carcinoma revealed a specific localization pattern of PTPIP51 in malignant keratinocytes. Whereas PTPIP51-positive cells of BCC were found to form two cluster types with a different subcellular localization of the protein, i.e. cytoplasmic and nuclear or predominantly membranous, investigation of SCC revealed a meshwork-like appearance of PTPIP51-positive malignant keratinocytes, created by a mainly membranous localization. BD and KA resembled the findings of PTPIP51-expression in SCC. Furthermore, we observed a partial co-localization of PTP1B and PTPIP51 in BCC. SCC and BCC showed a co-expression and partial co-localization of PTPIP51 with beta-catenin. Some PTPIP51-positive cells were found to undergo apoptosis. PTPIP51 was also expressed in cells comprising the surrounding stromal microenvironment. This was particularly noticed for endothelial cells lining peritumoural vessels as well as for infiltrating cells of both, the innate and the adaptive immune system. The results showed a distinct mainly membranous expression pattern of PTPIP51 in BCCs and SCCs. Since PTPIP51 was also detected in the peritumoural tissue, the protein may play a crucial role in ke