Differential expression of GSK3β and pS9GSK3β in normal human tissues: Can pS9GSK3β be an epithelial marker?

Hojung Lee, Jae Ro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) and phosphorylated GSK3β at Ser9 (pS9GSK3β) are crucial in cellular proliferation and metabolism. GSK3β and pS9GSK3β are deregulated in many diseases including tumors. Data on altered expression of GSK3β and pS9GSK3β are mainly limited to tumor tissues, thus the expression of GSK3β and pS9GSK3β in normal human tissue has been largely unknown. Thus, we examined the immunohistochemical localization of GSK3β and pS9GSK3β in human fetal and adult tissues, and also compared the expression pattern of GSK3β and pS9GSK3β with that of the CK7 and CK20. We found GSK3β expression in neurons of brain, myenteric plexus in gastrointestinal tract, squamous epithelium of skin, and mammary gland. The expression of pS9GSK3β was restricted to the epithelial cells of breast and pancreaticobiliary duct, distal nephron of kidney, gastrointestinal tract, fallopian tube, epididymis, secretory cell of prostatic gland, and umbrella cell of urinary tract. The staining pattern of pS9GSK3β and CK7 was overlapped in most organs except for gastrointestinal tract where CK7 was negative and CK20 was positive. Our results show that the expression of GSK3β may be associated with differentiation of ectodermal derived tissues and pS9GSK3β with that of epithelial cells of endodermal derived tissues in human. In addition, the expression of pS9GSK3β in the selective epithelial cells may indicate its association with secretory or barrier function of specific cells and may serve as another immunohistochemical marker for epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4064-4073
Number of pages10
JournalInternational journal of clinical and experimental pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • GSK3β
  • Immunohistochemical study
  • Keratin
  • Normal tissues
  • pS9GSK3β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential expression of GSK3β and pS9GSK3β in normal human tissues: Can pS9GSK3β be an epithelial marker?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this