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Oncogene. 2003 Feb 13;22(6):847-52.

Overexpression of KIT in chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.

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Cancer Genomics Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.


We analysed gene-expression profiles in 15 surgical specimens of conventional, papillary, and chromophobe renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) using high-density oligonucleotide arrays. From about 12,000 genes targeted by the array, 67 were upregulated specifically in each histological type of RCC. The oncogene KIT was one of the genes whose expression was upregulated specifically in chromophobe RCCs. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated the KIT gene product on the cell membrane of chromophobe RCC in all cases, although it was not detected in conventional RCCs or non-neoplastic kidneys except for weak staining in the cytoplasm of renal tubules. These results suggest that each histological subtype of RCC has a unique gene-expression profile, and in particular indicates for the first time that KIT could be a useful marker for chromophobe RCC. As overexpression of KIT might be involved in tumor growth, KIT could be a new therapeutic target in this special type of RCC.

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