Cell proliferative activity and expression of cell-cell adhesion factors (E-cadherin, alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenin, and p120) in sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma

J Surg Oncol. 2001 Jun;77(2):123-31. doi: 10.1002/jso.1082.


Background and objectives: Sarcomatoid RCC (renal cell carcinoma) is an uncommon, but not rare, neoplasm which has been shown to have a much worse prognosis than common RCC. The current study was designed to investigate the association of proliferative activity and cell-cell adhesion molecules with sarcomatoid RCC.

Methods: Proliferative activity (Ki-67 labeling index) and expression of cell-cell adhesion associated molecules (E-cadherin, alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenin, and p120) were examined using immunohistochemical techniques in 11 cases of sarcomatoid RCC.

Results: In six patients with sarcomatous component more than 50%, five were died within 24 month after diagnosis. The expression of these molecules within the carcinomatous and sarcomatous components of sarcomatoid RCC was compared. The mean Ki-67 labeling index in the sarcomatous components (12.6%) is statistically higher than in the carcinomatous components (3.7%) (P < 0.05). The expressions of E-cadherin, and alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenin were statistically decreased in the sarcomatous components compared to the carcinomatous components. However, no differences were observed regarding p120 immunostaining.

Conclusions: The findings of the current study suggest that the range of the sarcomatous component may be a prognostic factor in RCC, and the malignant behavior of sarcomatoid RCC is due to high cell proliferative activity and decreased expressions of E-cadherin and alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenin in the sarcomatous component.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cadherins / biosynthesis*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / secondary
  • Catenins
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Desmoplakins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ki-67 Antigen / analysis
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phosphoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma / metabolism
  • Sarcoma / pathology*
  • gamma Catenin


  • Cadherins
  • Catenins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Desmoplakins
  • JUP protein, human
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Phosphoproteins
  • delta catenin
  • gamma Catenin