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Oncofetal Protein IMP3, a New Cancer Biomarker

Gong, Yuna MD; Woda, Bruce A. MD; Jiang, Zhong MD

Advances in Anatomic Pathology: May 2014 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 191–200
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0000000000000021
New Antibody/Techniques

IMP3 is a member of a family of RNA-binding proteins that consists of IMP1, IMP2 and IMP3. These proteins contain 2 RNA recognition motifs and 4 K-homology domains that allow them to bind RNAs strongly and specifically. IMP3 is an oncofetal protein involved in embryogenesis and its expression is associated with a number of malignant neoplasms. IMP3 is associated with aggressive and advanced cancers and is specifically expressed in malignant tumors but is not found in adjacent benign tissues. Moreover, in vitro studies have shown that IMP3 promotes tumor cell proliferation, adhesion, and invasion. This review focuses on the studies of IMP3 expression in different cancers and emphasizes the potential utility of IMP3 in routine surgical pathology practice. We also discuss IMP3 as a prognostic biomarker for cancer patients’ outcomes.

Department of Pathology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reprints: Zhong Jiang, MD, Department of Pathology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Three Biotech, One Innovation Drive, Worcester, MA 01605 (e-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.