Urothelial carcinoma (UC) of the kidney is a relatively rare but aggressive form of kidney cancer. Differential diagnosis of renal UC from renal cell carcinoma (RCC) can be difficult, but is critical for correct patient management. We aimed to use global gene expression profiling to identify genes specifically expressed in urothelial carcinoma (UC) of the kidney, with purpose of finding new biomarkers for differential diagnosis of UC of both upper and lower tract from normal tissues.
Materials and methods:
Microarray gene expression profiling was performed on a variety of human kidney tumor samples, including clear cell, papillary, chromophobe, oncocytoma, renal UC and normal kidney controls. Differentially expressed mRNAs in various kidney tumor subtypes were thus identified. Protein expression in human UC tumor samples from both upper and lower urinary tract was evaluated by immunohistochemistry.
FXYD3 (MAT-8) mRNA was specifically expressed in UC of the kidney and not in normal kidney tissue or in any RCC tumor subtypes. FXYD3 mRNA levels displayed equal or better prediction rate for the detection of renal UC than the mRNA levels of selected known UC markers as p63, vimentin, S100P, KRT20 and KRT7. Finally, immunohistochemical staining of clinical UC samples showed that FXYD3 protein is overexpressed in majority of UC of the upper genitourinary tract (encompassing the kidney, ∼90%) and in majority of high grade bladder UC (∼84%, it’s <40% in low grade tumors, P < 0.001) compared to normal kidney and bladder tissues.
FXYD3 may be a promising novel biomarker for the differential diagnosis of renal UC and a promising prognosis marker of UC from bladder. Because it was identified genome-widely, FXYD3 may have important biological ramifications for the genetic study of UC.