Ameloblastoma is a benign, locally aggressive epithelial odontogenic tumor that has the potential to become malignant and produce metastasis to distant sites such as lungs and kidneys. The histologic presentation can be, in some instances, mistaken for keratocystic odontogenic tumor (KCOT) (formerly known as odontogenic keratocyst). The expression of calretinin [calbindin2 (CALB2)] was investigated on both ameloblastoma and KCOT. Nineteen cases of ameloblastoma and 17 cases of KCOT were stained with calretinin antiserum 18-0211 (Zymed, San Francisco, CA). All cases (100%) of ameloblastoma showed positive calretinin staining, restricted to the neoplastic epithelial component and none (0%) of the 17 KCOTs showed positive calretinin staining. Gene expression profiling of ameloblastomas showed CALB2 expressed in the basal cell layer of columnar cells resembling preameloblasts, in all 5 of the ameloblastomas evaluated. Taken together, the results of this study strongly support calretinin as a useful immunohistochemical marker for ameloblastoma and malignant ameloblastoma and it can also be used in the differential diagnosis of KCOT.