Background: The three far-upstream element (FUSE) binding proteins (FBP1, FBP2, and FBP3) belong to an ancient family of single-stranded DNA binding proteins which are required for proper regulation of the c-myc proto-oncogene. Whereas it is known that c-myc alterations play a completely different role in various carcinomas of the urogenital tract, the relevance of FBPs is unclear.
Methods: FBP1, FBP3 and c-myc expression was studied in 105 renal cell, 95 prostate and 112 urinary bladder carcinomas by immunohistochemistry using tissue microarrays.
Results: High rates of FBP1 and FBP3 expression were observed in all cancer types. There was a concomitant up-regulation of FBP1 and FBP3 in renal cell and prostate carcinomas (p < 0.001 both). C-myc expression was detectable in 21% of prostate, 30% of renal and 34% of urothelial carcinomas. Interestingly, strong FBP1 and FBP3 expression was associated with c-myc up-regulation in clear cell renal cell carcinomas (p < 0.001 and 0.09 resp.), but not in bladder or prostate cancer.
Conclusion: The correlation between FBP1/FBP3, c-myc and high proliferation rate in renal cell carcinoma provides strong in vivo support for the suggested role of FBP1 and FBP3 as activators of c-myc. The frequent up-regulation of FBP1 and FBP3 in urothelial and prostate carcinoma suggests that FBPs also have an important function in gene regulation of these tumors.