Kallikrein-related Peptidase 5 (KLK5) Expression and Distribution in Canine Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is one of the most common types of malignant skin cancer in dogs, representing 3.9-10.4% of all canine skin tumours. Although the metastatic potential of cSCC is debated, it appears to mimic that observed in man. In man, predictive histopathological features for metastasis include tumour depth, lesions >5-6 mm in depth, and invasion of muscle, cartilage or bone. In dogs, some reports have focused on the clinical features and long-term progression of cSCC, but a gold standard treatment has not yet been developed. We explored the protein expression of kallikrein-related peptidase 5 (KLK5), an important modulator of skin homeostasis, in normal canine skin and in examples of cSCC. KLK5 was highly expressed in the upper stratum granulosum, stratum corneum, hair follicles and sweat glands, skin sites where human KLK5 has been shown to be involved in physiological processes including keratinocyte desquamation, antimicrobial defence, lipid permeability and pigmentation. In cSCC, tumour cells at the deep margin, as well as those in the centre of keratin pearls, displayed cytoplasmic expression of KLK5. Some of the KLK5 immunoreactive cells also expressed vimentin, suggesting that they may be undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition and therefore have a more invasive behaviour than those expressing only KLK5. KLK5 may be a novel molecular biomarker useful for predicting prognosis of cSSC in dogs. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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