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Mod Pathol. 2009 Jun;22(6):744-52. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2009.43. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

CSF1R copy number changes, point mutations, and RNA and protein overexpression in renal cell carcinomas.

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Department of Genetics, Portuguese Oncology Institute, Porto, Portugal.


Renal cell carcinomas comprise a heterogeneous group of tumors. Of these, 80% are clear cell renal cell carcinomas, which are characterized by loss of 3p, often with concomitant gain of 5q22qter. Although VHL is considered the main target gene of the 3p deletions, none has been identified as the relevant target gene for the 5q gain. We have studied 75 consecutive kidney tumors and paired normal kidney samples to evaluate at the genomic and expression levels the tyrosine kinase genes CSF1R and PDGFRB as potential targets in this region. Our findings show that RNA expression of CSF1R, but not of PDGFRB, was significantly higher in clear cell renal cell carcinomas than in normal tissue samples, something that was corroborated at the protein level by immunohistochemistry. The CSF1R staining pattern in clear cell renal cell carcinomas was clearly different from that observed in other renal cell carcinomas, suggesting its potential usefulness in differential diagnosis. FISH analysis demonstrated whole chromosomal gain and relative CSF1R/PDGFRB copy number gain in clear cell renal cell carcinomas, which might contribute to CSF1R overexpression. Finally, one polymorphism and two novel mutations were identified in CSF1R in clear cell renal cell carcinoma patients. Our data allow us to conclude that CSF1R plays a relevant role in clear cell renal cell carcinoma carcinogenesis and raise the possibility that CSF1R may represent a future valuable therapeutic target in these patients.

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