Kuncová J, Urban M, Mandys V. Expression of CD44s and CD44v6 in transitional cell carcinomas of the urinary bladder: comparison with tumour grade, proliferative activity and p53 immunoreactivity of tumour cells. APMIS 2007;115:1194–1205. Alterations of CD44 glycoproteins have been shown to play an important role in progression of various malignancies, including urothelial cancer. We investigated expression patterns of CD44s and CD44v6 in transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the urinary bladder in relation to tumour grade, proliferative activity, and immunoreactivity for p53. The selected markers were detected immunohistochemically in 122 samples of TCC. We found a close relationship between CD44s and CD44v6 expression and tumour grade. The extension of positive staining for CD44s and CD44v6 towards the luminal surface was a predominant feature of differentiated carcinomas (grades 1 and 2), suggesting deranged maturation of cancer cells related to their neoplastic transformation. Heterogeneous expression of CD44s and CD44v6 predominated in poorly differentiated tumours (G3–4). However, areas of squamous differentiation within the high-grade tumours displayed strong immunoreactivity for both CD44s and CD44v6. The proliferative activity and p53 overexpression increased with the dedifferentiation of the tumour. The results of this study are discussed in relation to the significance of CD44 expression in TCC and to the explanation for controversial results reported in previous studies on the relationship between CD44 expression and the biological behaviour of urothelial cells.