S100A3 Expression in Cell Differentiation and Human Gliomas

S100A3 seems to be expressed specifically in skin and derivative tissues (Kizawa et al. 1996, 1998; Boni et al. 1997) and shows a specific pattern of localisation in the subcompartments in human and murine follicles. High expression of S100A3 has been found in the cuticle sheath and cortical cells undergoing terminal differentiation. This has led to the suggestion that it might participate in the differentiation of the cuticle cell and the formation of the hair shaft (Kizawa et al. 1998; Takizawa et al. 1999).

The expression of S100A3 has been studied in a series of human astrocytomas of various grades of malignancy (Camby et al. 1999). These authors have reported that they were able to differentiate between grade I (WHO) pilocytic astrocytomas and grades II-IV tumours on the basis of their expression of S100A3. Further, on this basis they suggest grade II-IV astrocytomas form a group of astrocytomas that are biologically distinct from WHO grade I tumours. On the other hand, the expression of S100A3 could be merely an indicator of the degree of anaplasia.

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