Molecular Pathology of Micropapillary Carcinomas: Is Characteristic Morphology Related to Molecular Mechanisms?

Sagnak Yilmaz Z., SARIOĞLU S.

Applied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology, vol.31, no.5, pp.267-277, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/pai.0000000000001123
  • Journal Name: Applied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.267-277
  • Keywords: cell polarity, micropapillary carcinoma, molecular pathology
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


Micropapillary carcinoma is an entity defined histologically in many organs. It is associated with lymph node metastasis and poor prognosis. The main mechanism for its histopathologic appearance is reverse polarization. Although the studies on this subject are limited, carcinomas with micropapillary morphology observed in different organs are examined by immunohistochemical and molecular methods. Differences are shown in these tumors compared with conventional carcinomas regarding the rate of somatic mutations, mRNA and miRNA expressions, and protein expression levels. TP53, PIK3CA, TERT, KRAS, EGFR, MYC, FGFR1, BRAF, AKT1, HER2/ERBB2, CCND1, and APC mutations, which genes frequently detected in solid tumors, have also been detected in invasive micropapillary carcinoma (IMPC) in various organs. 6q chromosome loss, DNAH9, FOXO3, SEC. 63, and FMN2 gene mutations associated with cell polarity or cell structure and skeleton have also been detected in IMPCs. Among the proteins that affect cell polarity, RAC1, placoglobin, as well as CLDNs, LIN7A, ZEB1, CLDN1, DLG1, CDH1 (E-cadherin), OCLN, AFDN/AF6, ZEB1, SNAI2, ITGA1 (integrin alpha 1), ITGB1 (integrin beta 1), RHOA, Jagged-1 (JAG1) mRNAs differentially express between IMPC and conventional carcinomas. Prediction of prognosis and targeted therapy may benefit from the understanding of molecular mechanisms of micropapillary morphology. This review describes the molecular pathologic mechanisms underlying the micropapillary changes of cancers in various organs in a cell polarity-related dimension.