Tubulin is the major constituent protein of microtubules. In mammals, there are seven beta-tubulins and six alpha-tubulins. Each beta-tubulin isotype has a unique tissue distribution. The purpose of this study was to describe the distribution of tubulin beta II in normal and neoplastic human tissues with immunohistochemical techniques. We obtained normal tissues from 33 cases (8 fetuses, 17 neonates, 3 children and 5 adults) and 121 samples of neoplastic tissue from surgical specimens or at autopsy. Immunohistochemical staining for tubulin beta II was performed using a monoclonal antibody, KNY379 developed in our laboratory. Tubulin beta II was detected in various normal tissues, particularly in fetal and neonatal tissues, such as the nervous system, pulmonary alveoli, bronchioles and bronchi, colon, pancreatic ducts and acini, renal convoluted tubuli, skin epidermis, body cavity mesothelial cells, smooth muscle and thymus. In the adult, broad expression was also observed; however, the immunoreactivity was weaker and the extent of its distribution decreased with age. In neoplastic tissues, tubulin beta II immunoreactivity was detected in various nervous system neoplasms and other neoplasms such as pancreatic solid cystic carcinoma, pleomorphic adenoma, Warthin's tumor, nephroblastoma, basal cell carcinoma and malignant mesothelioma. We conclude that our monoclonal antibody, KNY379, may be useful as a marker of nervous system neoplasm, pancreatic solid cystic carcinoma, pleomorphic adenoma, Warthin's tumor, nephroblastoma, basal cell carcinoma and malignant mesothelioma.
2005 Kurume University School of Medicine