Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) expression correlates with tumor severity in clear cell renal carcinoma

Pathol Oncol Res. 2013 Jan;19(1):27-33. doi: 10.1007/s12253-012-9554-4. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is an unique intracellular serine/threonine kinase and adapter protein. When dysregulated, it has been associated with increased cell proliferation, anchorage-independent cell growth, evasion of apoptosis, angiogenesis, invasion of surrounding tissues, downregulation of E-cadherin expression, nuclear translocation of β-catenin and metastasis, all features of tumoral malignancy. The objective of the present work was to evaluate the expression of ILK in clear cell renal carcinomas (CCRC) as a possible prognostic indicator. ILK immunoexpression was evaluated in a tissue microarray (TMA) with 45 human CCRCs. In addition, the apoptotic and proliferative indices and the immuno-expression of β-catenin and E-cadherin were also evaluated. E-cadherin expression was significantly decreased in tumors with positive ILK expression in relation to those with negative immunoexpression (p = 0.011). ILK immunostaining was significantly increased in high-grade in comparison to low-grade CCRCs (p = 0.0008). ILK expression was also associated with increased proliferative index (p = 0.020), tumor size >7.0 cm (p = 0.018) and with renal vein and capsule invasion (p = 0.003 and p = 0.00). Finally, tumors stage I and II (noninvasive) presented significantly reduced ILK immunoexpression when compared to stage III (locally invasive) (p = 0.0028). ILK immunoexpression in CCRC increases with loss of intercellular adhesion, nuclear grading, increased proliferative index and Robson stage. Altogether, our data suggest a possible role for ILK in the progression of CRCC.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / enzymology*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology*
  • Cell Growth Processes / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / biosynthesis*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • beta Catenin / metabolism


  • Cadherins
  • beta Catenin
  • integrin-linked kinase
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases