• Open Access

Feline sarcoma-related protein expression correlates with malignant aggressiveness and poor prognosis in renal cell carcinoma

Authors

  • Yasuyoshi Miyata,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    • Department of Nephro-Urology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan
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  • Shigeru Kanda,

    1. Department of Experimental and Clinical Laboratory Medicine, National Hospital Organization Nagasaki Hospital, Nagasaki, Japan
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  • Hideki Sakai,

    1. Department of Nephro-Urology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan
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  • Peter A. Greer

    1. Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
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To whom correspondence should be addressed.

E-mail: int.doc.miya@m3.dion.ne.jp

Abstract

Feline sarcoma-related protein (Fer) is a ubiquitously expressed non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase associated with proliferation in various cancer cells. However, no reports have described the pathological roles and prognostic value of Fer expression in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). We investigated Fer expression in three RCC cell lines (ACHN, Caki-1, and Caki-2) and in normal tubule cells (HK-2) by immunoblotting. Fer expression was highest in ACHN cells, with Caki-1 showing intermediate levels and Caki-2 showing low levels, and was undetectable in HK-2. RNA interference was therefore used to assess the effects of Fer knockdown in ACHN. Knockdown of Fer expression was found to inhibit RCC cell proliferation and colony formation. Immunohistochemical analysis of 131 human RCC tissues (110 conventional, 11 chromophobe, and 10 papillary) investigated relationships between Fer expression and clinicopathological features, including cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, and prognostic value for survival. In human tissues, Fer expression was significantly higher in cancer cells than in normal tubules. In addition, expression levels correlated with cancer cell proliferation, but not with apoptosis. Multivariate analysis indicated associations of Fer expression with pT stage, tumor grade, and metastasis (P < 0.001). Fer expression was also prognostic for cause-specific survival according to multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 3.89; 95% confidence interval, 1.02–14.84, P = 0.047). Fer expression correlates with RCC cell proliferation both in vitro and in vivo, and with tumor progression and survival. This represents useful information for discussing the pathological and clinical significance of Fer in RCC.

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