Stains & CD markers
Glypican 3 (GPC3)

Last author update: 25 March 2022
Last staff update: 28 November 2022

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PubMed Search: Glypican 3

Nick Baniak, M.D.
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Cite this page: Baniak N. Glypican 3. website. Accessed May 19th, 2024.
Definition / general
Essential features
  • Cytoplasmic or membranous staining
  • Used as part of a panel in diagnosing differentiating hepatocellular carcinoma from benign liver lesions and metastatic neoplasms
  • Used to identify a yolk sac tumor component in primary or metastatic germ cell tumors
  • Oncofetal protein encoded by GPC3 gene; plays a role in the regulation of cell division and apoptosis (Diagn Pathol 2015;10:34)
Clinical features
Uses by pathologists
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Nick Baniak, M.D.

Hepatocellular carcinoma

Yolk sac tumor

Placenta (glypican 3)

Virtual slides

Images hosted on other servers:

Glypican 3 staining yolk sac tumor

Positive staining - not malignant
  • Placenta; syncytiotrophoblast and cytotrophoblast positive
  • Nonneoplastic liver with high grade hepatitis C activity (> 80%) (Hum Pathol 2008;39:209)
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining
Sample pathology report
  • Retroperitoneal lymph node, excision:
    • Metastatic germ cell tumor comprised of teratoma (90%) and yolk sac tumor (10%)
    • Immunohistochemistry performed shows the following staining profile in the yolk sac component:
      • Positive: glypican 3
      • Negative: OCT 3/4
Board review style question #1

A 67 year old man presents with a solitary liver lesion. Glypican 3 staining was performed as part of a panel (see image above). What is the most likely diagnosis?

  1. Cirrhotic nodule
  2. Focal nodular hyperplasia
  3. Hepatic adenoma
  4. Hepatocellular carcinoma
Board review style answer #1
D. Hepatocellular carcinoma

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Reference: Glypican 3 (GPC3)
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