Activating transcription factor 2 in mesenchymal tumors

Makoto Endo, Le Su, Torsten O. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) is a member of activator protein 1 superfamily, which can heterodimerize with other transcription factors regulating cell differentiation and survival. ATF2 assembles into a complex with the synovial sarcoma translocation, chromosome 18 (SS18)-synovial sarcoma, X breakpoint (SSX) fusion oncoprotein, and the transducin-like enhancer of split 1 (TLE1) corepressor, driving oncogenesis in synovial sarcoma. The fusion oncoproteins in many other translocation-associated sarcomas incorporate transcription factors from the ATF/cAMP response element binding or E26 families, which potentially form heterodimers with ATF2 to regulate transcription. ATF2 may therefore play an important role in the oncogenesis of many mesenchymal tumors, but as yet, little is known about its protein expression in patient specimens. Herein we perform immunohistochemical analyses using a validated specific antibody for ATF2 expression and intracellular localization on a cohort of 594 malignant and 207 benign mesenchymal tumors representing 47 diagnostic entities. Melanoma served as a positive control for nuclear and cytoplasmic staining. High nuclear ATF2 expression was mainly observed in translocation-associated and/or spindle cell sarcomas including synovial sarcoma, desmoplastic small round cell tumor, endometrial stromal sarcoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumor, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, and solitary fibrous tumor. Cytoplasmic ATF2 expression was less frequently seen than nuclear expression in malignant mesenchymal tumors. Benign mesenchymal tumors mostly showed much lower nuclear and cytoplasmic ATF2 expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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