The expression of bcl-2 and bcl-6 protein in normal and malignant transitional epithelium

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The bcl-2 proto-oncogene plays a key role in cell longevity by preventing apoptosis. Bcl-2 is important in developing and maintaining the normal function of lymphoid and epithelial tissues. The bcl-6 protein is a 96 kDa nuclear protein selectively expressed in mature B cells within normal germinal centers as well as in their transformed counterparts in diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Recently, the bcl-6 protein has also been reported to be expressed in normal skin and epidermal neoplasms. In this study, 47 cases of transitional cell carcinomas (TCCs) were immunohistochemically studied for bcl-2 and bcl-6 protein expression. The results showed that bcl-2 was expressed only on basal layer cells, whereas bcl-6 expression was restricted to the superficial layers in the normal transitional epithelium. Von Brunn's nests showed strong immunostaining to bcl-2, but were negative to bcl-6. Among 47 TCCs, 15 (32.6%) and 29 (61.7%) cases were positive for bcl-2 and bcl-6, respectively. Compared with the normal transitional epithelium, the expression of bcl-2 was significantly decreased, whereas bcl-6 expression was significantly increased in TCCs. Additionally, the strong expression of bcl-6 had a positive correlation with the histopathologic grade of TCC. In conclusion, bcl-2 and bcl-6 proteins may play a role in the pathogenesis of TCCs, and bcl-6 expression reflects histopathologic grade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-275
Number of pages4
JournalUrological Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Aug


  • Bcl-2
  • Bcl-6
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Transitional cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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