Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 30 November 2015, last major update June 2005

Copyright: (c) 2003-2015,, Inc.

Cite this page: Villin. website. Accessed May 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Actin binding protein present in cytoskeleton of intestinal microvilli; has critical role in maintaining brush border organization
  • Relatively specific for GI epithelium with brush border microvilli or adenocarcinomas derived from them
Uses by pathologists
  • Primary bladder adenocarcinoma vs. colorectal carcinoma to bladder - negative CDX2 and negative villin suggests bladder primary (Mod Pathol 2005;18:1217)
  • Colorectal adenocarcinoma (villin+) vs. ovarian adenocarcinoma (villin-)
Positive staining - normal
  • Digestive tract epithelium, renal proximal tubules, hepatic bile ducts
Positive staining - disease
  • Pulmonary adenocarcinomas, renal cell carcinoma, colonic adenocarcinoma (98%)
Negative staining
  • Bronchiolar epithelium, pulmonary alveolar cells, bronchial gland cells, renal distal tubules
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Bladder adenocarcinoma - (a) secondary colorectal is villin+ as is (b) primary bladder tumor