Original ArticlesSALL4 Expression in Germ Cell and Non–Germ Cell Tumors A Systematic Immunohistochemical Study of 3215 CasesMiettinen, Markku MD; Wang, Zengfeng PhD; McCue, Peter A. MD; Sarlomo-Rikala, Maarit MD; Rys, Janusz MD; Biernat, Wojciech MD; Lasota, Jerzy MD; Lee, Yi-Shan MDAuthor Information *Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD †Department of Pathology, Cell Biology and Anatomy, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA ‡Department of Pathology/Haartman Institute and HusLab, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland §Department of Tumor Pathology, Centre of Oncology, Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Institute, Krakow ∥Department of Pathomorphology, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: Supported as a part of NCI’s intramural research program. The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article. Correspondence: Markku Miettinen, MD, Laboratory of Surgical Pathology, National Cancer Institute, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bldg 10, Rm 2B50, Bethesda, MD 20892 (e-mail: [email protected]). The American Journal of Surgical Pathology: March 2014 - Volume 38 - Issue 3 - p 410-420 doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000000116 Buy Metrics Abstract The SALL4 transcription factor is associated with embryonic cell pluripotency and has been shown as a useful immunohistochemical marker for germ cell tumors. However, information of SALL4 distribution in normal human tissues and non–germ cell tumors is limited. In this study we examined normal human tissues and 3215 tumors for SALL4 expression using a monoclonal antibody 6E3 and automated immunohistochemistry. In a 10-week embryo, SALL4 was expressed in ovocytes, intestine, kidney, and some hepatocytes. In adult tissues, it was only detected in germ cells. SALL4 was consistently expressed in all germ cell tumors except some trophoblastic tumors and mature components of teratomas, in which it was selectively expressed in intestinal-like and some squamous epithelia. In non–germ cell carcinomas, SALL4 was detected in 20% of cases or more of serous carcinoma of the ovary, urothelial high-grade carcinoma, and gastric adenocarcinoma (especially the intestinal type). SALL4 was only rarely (≤5%) expressed in mammary, colorectal, prostatic, and squamous cell carcinomas. Many SALL4-positive carcinomas showed poorly differentiated patterns, and some showed positivity in most tumor cells mimicking the expression in germ cell tumors. SALL4 was commonly expressed in rhabdoid tumors of the kidney and extrarenal sites and in the Wilms tumor. Expression of SALL4 was rare in other mesenchymal and neuroendocrine tumors but was occasionally detected in melanoma, desmoplastic small round cell tumor, epithelioid sarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma. All hematopoietic tumors were negative. SALL4 is an excellent marker of nonteratomatous germ cell tumors, but it is also expressed in other tumors, sometimes extensively. Such expression may reflect stem cell–like differentiation and must be considered when using SALL4 as a marker for germ cell tumors. Observed lack of other pluripotency factors, OCT4 and NANOG, in SALL4-positive non–germ cell tumors can also be diagnostically helpful. Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.