Cytokeratin 18 - A Intermediate Filament Cyotskeletal Component

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 14:47

Keratins, also called cytokeratins, are a family of filamentous structural proteins that form the intermediate filaments within epithelial cells. Keratins are differentially expressed depending on both the epithelial cell origin and degree of differentiation. An antibody to any given keratin is useful either as a stand-alone or part of an antibody panel to help identify or clarify tissue origin. Cytokeratin 18 (CK18) is a 45 kD normal constituent of the hepatocyte cytoskeleton and is expressed in combination with cytokeratin 8.  The cytokeratins 18 and 8 are the major keratin pair most commonly expressed intermediate filaments in single layer or simple epithelial tissues. CK18 is used as a tumor marker, not only because it is often persistently expressed in tumor cells derived from simple epithelia, but also because keratin expression patterns enable valuable sub-typing of tumors. Studies with the cytokeratin 18 antibody from a Georgetown lab indicate that PPARgamma surprisingly plays a role in mammary lineage specification and estrogen receptor (ER)+ tumor formation1.

Immunohistochemistry: Cytokeratin 18 Antibody Immunohistochemistry: Cytokeratin 18 Antibody


Terada’s group relied upon use of the cytokeratin 18 antibody in their pathological assessments of an oral tumor mass and adjacent areas to make a diagnosis of an extremely rare occurrence of angiosarcoma – this diagnosis then directed subsequent course of action and surgery2. Immunohistochemical studies out of Yoon’s lab employed the cytokeratin 18 antibody to conduct a much-needed evaluation, profile, and comparison ameloblastoma and amyeloblastic carcinoma specimens3. Their work provided much insight into the use of CK18, parenchymal MMP-2, stromal MMP-9, and Ki67 as differentiation markers. Kaenel’s group in Switzerland examined the role of ephrin-B2 through use of the cytokeratin 18 antibody, which allowed them to demonstrate ephrin-B2’s role in stem cell niche regulation and differentiation4.  Furthermore, the cytokeratin 18 antibody allowed a group at UCLA’s Medical Center to carefully monitor progenitor populations (hematopoietic, mesenchymal, and epithelial) in the peripheral blood of patients undergoing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)5. Novus Biologicals offers Cytokeratin 18 reagents for your research needs including:


  1. 19147585
  2. 20924728
  3. 22014999
  4. 22020958
  5. 19875689

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