SERPINH1 overexpression in clear cell renal cell carcinoma: association with poor clinical outcome and its potential as a novel prognostic marker

J Cell Mol Med. 2018 Feb;22(2):1224-1235. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.13495. Epub 2017 Dec 14.


Precision therapy for clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) requires molecular biomarkers ascertaining disease prognosis. In this study, we performed integrated proteomic and transcriptomic screening in all four tumour-node-metastasis stages of ccRCC and adjacent normal tissues (n = 18) to investigate differentially expressed genes. Most identified differentially expressed genes revealed a strong association with transforming growth factor-β level and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition process. Of them, Serpin peptidase inhibitor clade H member 1 (SERPINH1) revealed the strongest association with poor prognosis and regulation on the expression levels of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition markers. Subsequently, two independent sets (n = 532 and 105) verified the high level of SERPINH1 in ccRCC tissues and its association with reduced overall survival and disease-free survival in all tumour-node-metastasis stages and patients with von Hippel-Lindau wild-type (VHL-WT). SERPINH1 was an independent predictor of poor overall survival (hazard ratio 0.696 for all patients) and disease-free survival (hazard ratio 0.433 for all patients and 0.362 for patients with VHL-WT) in ccRCC. We have thus shown for the first time that SERPINH1 is an independent precision predictor for unfavourable prognosis in ccRCC. This could assist in identifying patients who need early aggressive management and deepen our understanding of the pathogenesis of VHL-WT ccRCC.

Keywords: SERPINH1/HSP47; prognostic marker; proteomics; renal cancer; transcriptomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • HSP47 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Prognosis
  • Proteomics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Transcriptome / genetics
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Up-Regulation
  • Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein / genetics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • HSP47 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • SERPINH1 protein, human
  • Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein