Immunohistochemistry (IHC) for DNA mismatch repair proteins MLH1, PMS2, MSH2, and MSH6 is used for microsatellite instability (MSI) screening in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and endometrial carcinoma (EC). Loss of PMS2, with retained MLH1 staining occurs in germline mutations of PMS2 gene, and is an indication for genetic testing. We report a pitfall of immunohistochemical interpretation in an EC, initially regarded as MLH1-positive and PMS2-negative. Review of the MLH1-IHC (M1-clone) revealed a granular, dot-like, nuclear staining. On repeating the MLH1-IHC with a different clone (ES05-clone), complete negativity was noted, and on molecular testing, MLH1 promotor methylation was detected. The dot-like pattern was therefore adjudged a clone-dependent artefact. On reviewing the archived MLH1-IHC slides, we observed the same dot-like pattern in two CRCs; in both cases the M1-clone had been used. Awareness of this artefact may prevent reporting errors, and unnecessary referrals for germline mutation testing.

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Pathology Research and Practice
Department of Pathology

Dasgupta, S. (S.), Ewing, P., Groenendijk, F.H. (F. H.), Stam, O. (O.), Biermann, K., Doukas, M. (M.), … van Bockstal, M. (2019). Granular dot-like staining with MLH1 immunohistochemistry is a clone-dependent artefact. Pathology Research and Practice. doi:10.1016/j.prp.2019.152581