p57KIP2 is a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor7, cell cycle inhibitor and tumour suppressor gene, located at 11p15.52. The Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome is characterised by fetal overgrowth and predisposition to tumours: it is associated with loss or point mutation of p57KIP2. Mice deficient in p57KIP2 show placentomegaly with trophoblastic hyperplasia1. p57KIP2 shows strong paternal genomic imprinting, resulting in expression predominantly from the maternal allele.

Commercial antibodies are available which work on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. Staining is nuclear.

Immunohistochemical expression

The general role of p57KIP2 in malignancy is poorly understood:

In trophoblast and its tumours:

Normal placenta


Voluntary artificial abortions


spontaneous abortion


Hydropic spontaneous abortion

51/511, 16/204, 2/26

Partial hydatidiform mole

39/391, 16/162, 19/193, 19/204, 2/25, 7/76

Complete hydatidiform mole

1/591, 2/222, 0/203, 7/444, 4/45, 1/526, 0/67

Gestational choriocarcinoma


choriocarcinoma post-complete hydatidiform mole


choriocarcinoma post-non-molar pregnancy


placental site trophoblastic tumour post-complete hydatidiform mole


placental site trophoblastic tumour post-non-molar pregnancy



The mechanism by which immunoreactivity is restored on transformation in gestational trophoblastic tumours (choriocarcinomas and placental site trophoblastic tumours) arising from complete hydatidiform mole is not know7.

Diagnostic utility


1Castrillon, D. H., D. Sun, et al. (2001). "Discrimination of complete hydatidiform mole from its mimics by immunohistochemistry of the paternally imprinted gene product p57KIP2." Am J Surg Pathol 25(10): 1225-30.

2Crisp, H., J. L. Burton, et al. (2003). "Refining the diagnosis of hydatidiform mole: image ploidy analysis and p57KIP2 immunohistochemistry." Histopathology 43(4): 363-73.

3Chilosi, M., E. Piazzola, et al. (1998). "Differential expression of p57kip2, a maternally imprinted cdk inhibitor, in normal human placenta and gestational trophoblastic disease." Lab Invest 78(3): 269-76.

4Fukunaga, M. (2002). "Immunohistochemical characterization of p57(KIP2) expression in early hydatidiform moles." Hum Pathol 33(12): 1188-92.

5Genest, D. R., D. M. Dorfman, et al. (2002). "Ploidy and imprinting in hydatidiform moles. Complementary use of flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry of the imprinted gene product p57KIP2 to assist molar classification." J Reprod Med 47(5): 342-6.

6Jun, S. Y., J. Y. Ro, et al. (2003). "p57kip2 is useful in the classification and differential diagnosis of complete and partial hydatidiform moles." Histopathology 43(1): 17-25.

7Sebire, N. J., H. C. Rees, et al. (2004). "p57 immunohistochemical staining of gestational trophoblastic tumours does not identify the type of the causative pregnancy." Histopathology 45(2): 135-141.

This page last revised 30.8.2004.

©SMUHT/PW Bishop