Renal translocation carcinomas: clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical, and gene expression profiling analysis of 31 cases with a review of the literature

Am J Surg Pathol. 2008 May;32(5):656-70. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181609914.


We report clinicopathologic features of a large series of renal translocation carcinomas from a multicentric study. Diagnosis was performed by cytogenetic examination of fresh material and/or by immunochemistry with antibodies directed against the C-terminal part of transcription factor E3 (TFE3) and native transcription factor EB (TFEB) proteins. Clinical data, follow-up, and histologic features were assessed. Antibodies against CK7, CD10, vimentin, epithelial membrane antigen, AE1-AE3, E-cadherin, alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase, melan A, and HMB45 were tested on tissue microarrays. Whole-genome microarray expression profiling was performed on 4 tumors. Twenty-nine cases were diagnosed as TFE3 and 2 as TFEB renal translocation carcinomas, including 13 males and 18 females, mean age 24.6 years. Two patients had a previous history of chemotherapy and 1 had a history of renal failure. Mean size of the tumor was 6.9 cm. Thirteen cases were > or = pT3 stage. Twelve cases were N+ or M+. Mean follow-up was 29.5 months. Three patients presented metastases and 5 have died. Mixed papillary and nested patterns with clear and/or eosinophilic cells represented the most consistent histologic appearance, with common foci of calcifications regardless of the type of translocation. Using a 30 mn incubation at room temperature, TFE3 immunostainings were positive in only 82% of our TFE3 translocation carcinomas. Both TFE3 and TFEB renal translocation carcinomas expressed CD10 and alpha-methylacyl-coenzyme A racemase in all cases. An expression of E-cadherin was observed in two-third of cases. Cytokeratins were expressed in less than one-third of cases. Melanocytic markers were expressed at least weakly in all cases except two. Unsupervised clustering on the basis of the gene expression profiling indicated a distinct subgroup of tumors. TRIM 63 glutathione S-transferase A1 and alanyl aminopeptidase are the main differentially expressed genes for this group of tumors. Our results suggest that these differentially expressed genes may serve as novel diagnostic or prognostic markers.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology*
  • Child
  • Cytogenetic Analysis
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genome
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis
  • Nephrectomy
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Translocation, Genetic*


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • TFE3 protein, human
  • TFEB protein, human