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MIM.300037 Xq26

Wednesday 14 July 2004

Definition: Glypican 3 (GPC3) is a membrane-bound heparin sulfate proteoglycan. It play a role in promoting embryonic cell growth and differentiation. GPC3 is mutated in Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome, characterized by tissue overgrowth and an increased risk of embryonal malignancies. Locus SGBS1 at Xq26 (MIM.312870)


- Glypican-3 (GPC3) is a member of the glypican family (GPCs), a group of heparan sulfate proteoglycans linked to the cell surface through a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor.

- Glypicans play an important role in cell growth, differentiation, and migration.


- germline mutations in the gene for glypican-3 (GPC3) in Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome (MIM.312870)

- Glypican-3 (GPC3) is a histological and serological marker of HCC.

  • Glypican-3 has been shown to be a useful immunohistochemical biomarker of HCC.
  • Glypican-3 has been detected in the serum of HCC patients, and is a candidate serum biomarker for the early detection of this form of cancer.

Expression in tumors

- cellular hepatocarcinoma

- tumor marker for melanoma (15475451)

- Although down-regulation of this protein has been shown in several cancers and cell lines, including mesothelioma and ovarian and breast cancers, GPC3 is highly expressed, both at the mRNA and protein level, in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). The timing of GPC3 expression in liver carcinogenesis is unknown.

- GPC3 is over-expressed genes in

- Expression of glypican-3 in undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma and mesenchymal hamartoma of the liver. (21937079)

  • GPC3 is expressed in a subset of undifferentiated embryonal sarcom (UES) and mesenchymal hamartoma of the liver. (21937079)
  • Caution should thus be exercised when evaluating a GPC3-expressing hepatic neoplasm, particularly on a needle biopsy when the differential diagnosis includes poorly differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma or hepatoblastoma. (21937079)

- no immunoreactivity in


Glypican-3 (GPC3) is an oncofetal protein that has been demonstrated to be a useful diagnostic immunomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatoblastoma.

See also

- glypicans (GPCs)


- Expression of glypican-3 in undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma and mesenchymal hamartoma of the liver. Levy M, Trivedi A, Zhang J, Miles L, Mattis AN, Kim GE, Lassman C, Anders RA, Misdraji J, Yerian LM, Xu H, Dhall D, Wang HL. Hum Pathol. 2011 Sep 19. PMID: 21937079

- Esheba GE, Pate LL, Longacre TA. Oncofetal Protein Glypican-3 Distinguishes Yolk Sac Tumor From Clear Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary. Am J Surg Pathol. 2008 Feb 14; PMID: 18277882

- Zynger DL, Dimov ND, Luan C, Tean Teh B, Yang XJ. Glypican 3: A Novel Marker in Testicular Germ Cell Tumors. Am J Surg Pathol. 2006 Dec;30(12):1570-1575. PMID: 17122513

- Wang XY, Degos F, Dubois S, Tessiore S, Allegretta M, Guttmann RD, Jothy S, Belghiti J, Bedossa P, Paradis V. Glypican-3 expression in hepatocellular tumors: diagnostic value for preneoplastic lesions and hepatocellular carcinomas. Hum Pathol. 2006 Nov;37(11):1435-41. PMID: 16949914

- Nakatsura T, Kageshita T, Ito S, Wakamatsu K, Monji M, Ikuta Y, Senju S, Ono T, Nishimura Y. Identification of glypican-3 as a novel tumor marker for melanoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Oct 1;10(19):6612-21. PMID: 15475451