Renal cell carcinoma associated with transcription factor E3 expression and Xp11.2 translocation: incidence, characteristics, and prognosis

Am J Clin Pathol. 2012 May;137(5):761-8. doi: 10.1309/AJCPQ6LLFMC4OXGC.


We studied the characteristics and prognosis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) associated with Xp11.2 translocation and transcription factor E3 (TFE3) expression and determined the need for genetic analysis in routine diagnostics. Of 848 consecutive cases, 75 showed microscopic features suggestive of Xp11.2 translocation RCC or occurred in patients 40 years or younger. Of these cases, 17 (23%) showed strong nuclear TFE3 immunostaining, which was associated with more advanced tumors and inverse prognosis in univariate (P = .032) but not multivariate (P = .404) analysis. With fluorescence in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction, only 2 cases showed alterations of the X chromosome and the ASPL-TFE3 gene fusion, respectively. In our laboratory, the predictive value of TFE3 expression for the Xp11.2 translocation was 12%. Strong nuclear TFE3 expression is associated with metastatic spread and a poor prognosis. In our laboratory, TFE3 is not diagnostic for Xp11.2 translocation RCC. Diagnosis of Xp11.2 translocation RCC may be made only genetically.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 11*
  • Chromosomes, Human, X*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Translocation, Genetic*


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • TFE3 protein, human