NKX3.1 is located in chromosome 8p and encodes a homeodomain transcription factor whose expression is largely restricted to the prostate and controlled by the androgen hormone.1 Loss of function of NKX3.1 results in human prostrate carcinoma and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). NKX3.1 stains nuclei in both normal and prostate cancer providing a robust stain that is easy to interpret.2 Studies show that NKX3.1 is highly sensitive and specific for high-grade prostatic adenocarcinoma and highly sensitive for metastatic prostatic adenocarcinoma. The sensitivity for identifying metastatic prostatic adenocarcinomas overall was 98.6% (68/69 cases positive) for NKX3.1 compared to 94.2% (65/69 cores positive) for PSA. In the appropriate clinical setting, the addition of IHC staining for NKX3.1, along with other prostate-restricted markers, may help to definitively determine prostatic origin in poorly differentiated metastatic carcinomas.3
1. He WW, et al. A novel human prostate-specific, androgen-regulated homeobox gene (NKX3.1) that maps to 8p21, a region frequently deleted in prostate cancer. Genomics. 1997; 43 (1):69–77.
2. Le Magnen C, et al. Cooperation of loss of NKX3.1 and inflammation in prostate cancer initiation. Dis Model Mech. 2018;11(11).
3. Gurel B, et al. NKX3.1 as a marker of prostatic origin in metastatic tumors. Am J Surg Pathol. 2010;34(8):1097-1105.
4. Center for Disease Control Manual. Guide: Safety Management, NO. CDC-22, Atlanta, GA. April 30, 1976 “Decontamination of Laboratory Sink Drains to Remove Azide Salts.”
5. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Protection of Laboratory Workers from Occupationally Acquired Infections; Approved Guideline-Fourth Edition CLSI document M29-A4 Wayne, PA 2014. Ultraline antibodies are developed solely by Biocare Medical LLC and do not imply approval or endorsement of Biocare antibodies by Ventana Medical Systems, Inc or Roche. Biocare, Ventana and Roche are not affiliated, associated or related in any way. Ventana®, BenchMark®, ultraView and OptiView are trademarks of Roche.