Myoepithelial Cell (MEC) Markers




Myoepithelial cells are spindle-shaped, contractile, smooth muscle-like cells of epithelial origin that are arranged longitudinally or obliquely around sweat glands and the secretory alveoli of the mammary gland; stellate myoepithelial cells occur around lacrimal and some salivary gland secretory units.





  • a novel myoepithelial marker, in normal, benign, and malignant breast tissue. PMID: 14991892


Caldesmon (CALD)


  • a novel marker for myoepithelial cells in fine-needle aspirates of papillary breast lesions. PMID: 10945900

  • Residual myoepithelial cells (best demonstrated by calponin and SMA) were identified at the periphery of the epithelial islands in all cases of NSM (although not in all islands). PMID: 17650214

Carbonic Anhydrase III (CAIII)

  • a marker of the myoepithelial cells of human salivary glands. PMID: 1905166

  • a new histochemical marker for myoepithelial cells. PMID: 3106467


  • could be another useful marker of breast myoepithelial cells on paraffin sections. PMID: 11950913

CD29 and 14-3-3sigma


  • a new marker for myoepithelial cells of mammary, salivary, and lacrimal glands and prostate basal cells. PMID: 17493171

Cytokeratin 14

  • well-known marker of normal myoepithelial (MEC)/basal cells. PMID: 7576573

  • specific marker for myoepithelial cells in the normal salivary gland. PMID: 7542546

Cytokeratin 17


  • myoepithelial cells (MECs) stained constantly and strongly for EGFr, creating an outer continuous ring surrounding the epithelium of ducts and acini in healthy, in proliferative epithelial lesions, and in in situ carcinoma, both of ductal and lobular type. In conclusion, immunohistochemical staining for EGFr is diagnostically useful for MEC identification. PMID: 11893032


  • represents a novel, useful marker for the immunohistochemical identification of myoepithelial cells (MEC), and a highly sensitive marker for ductal basal or "reserve" cells in salivary glands. PMID: 8183739


  • novel putative myoepithelial marker. PMID: 12610349

  • a mammary inhibitory serine protease that harbors tumor suppressor, tumor invasiveness-suppression and anti-angiogenic properties. It is consistently expressed by mammary myoepithelial cells. Maspin should be used in surgical pathology practice either as an additional marker in immunohistochemical panels defining a myoepithelial histogenesis in odd breast neoplasms, or in those cases in which the definite diagnosis relies on the myoepithelial cell layer identification. PMID: 11795829


  • expressed in the basal/myoepithelial layer of the mammary gland and is a selective marker of basal epithelial breast tumors. PMID: 17234757


  • differentially expressed in myoepithelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells in preneoplastic and neoplastic human breast: a possible marker for the progression of breast cancer. PMID: 12216067

Osteonectin (SPARC)

  • a myoepithelial marker, was an independent marker of poor prognosis in breast cancers as a whole. PMID: 15126339

  • a glycoprotein involved in the early steps of the mineralization of skeletal tissue, is related to the production of the type IV collagen by modified myoepithelial cells. PMID: 10605692


  • a recently characterized p53 homolog, is a nuclear transcription factor that is expressed in basal cells of multilayered epithelia and myoepithelial cells of the breast. PMID: 12811858

  • P63, a p53 homologue, is considered to be a marker of myoepithelial cells in breast tissue. PMID: 12704442

  • p63 is a specific myoepithelial cell marker in normal breast tissue and is expressed in a minority of breast carcinomas, being seen only in grade III ductal carcinomas. PMID: 12653579

  • a new nuclear myoepithelial cell marker. PMID: 12461063

  • p63 is a reliable myoepithelial and stem cell marker. PMID: 12195217

  • an especially useful marker of myoepithelial cells with naked nuclei in epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma (EMC). PMID: 15959915

  • p63 is a sensitive and specific myoepithelial marker and may be included in immunohistochemical panels aiming at identifying myoepithelial cells in problematic breast lesions. PMID: 14758723

  • a novel myoepithelial cell marker in canine mammary tissues. PMID: 12824513

  • a reliable myoepithelial and stem cell marker. PMID: 12195217

  • a p53 homologue, is a selective nuclear marker of myoepithelial cells of the human breast. PMID: 11474290

p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR)


SMMHC (Smooth Muscle Myosin Heavy Chain)

  • SMMHC is a more sensitive and specific marker of myoepithelial cells (MEC) and shows less heterogeneity of immunostaining patterns. PMID: 15166269

Thy-1 (thymocyte differentiation antigen)

  • a differentiation marker of potential mammary myoepithelial cells in vitro. PMID: 366610

  • Thy-1 antigen and laminin are two components often associated with the basement membrane of the rat mammary gland and are thought to be synthesized, at least in part, by the adjacent myoepithelial cells in vivo. PMID: 2885332

  • identified partially on and immediately adjacent to the myoepithelial cells of ducts and alveoli. PMID: 6121926


  • one of the earliest indicators of neoplastic myoepithelial differentiation. PMID: 2165413

  • can be used to define the participation and distribution of myoepithelial cells in salivary gland tumors. PMID: 8015803

  • staining with antivimentin co-localizes with staining with polyclonal antisera to callous keratin (which specifically stain myoepithelial cells in the rat mammary gland). PMID: 2684927