Chemokine and chemokine receptor expression in kidney tumors: Molecular profiling of histological subtypes and association with metastasis

Jeffrey C. Gahan, Miguel Gosalbez, Travis Yates, Ezekiel E. Young, Diogo O. Escudero, Andrew Chi, Michael Garcia-Roig, Ramgopal Satyanarayana, Mark S. Soloway, Vincent G. Bird, Vinata B. Lokeshwar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Purpose: Molecular characterization of renal cell carcinoma may help differentiate benign oncocytoma from malignant renal cell carcinoma subtypes and predict metastasis. Chemokines, eg IL-8 and chemokine receptors such as CXCR4 and 7, promote inflammation and metastasis. SDF-1 is a CXCR4 and 7 ligand with 6 known isoforms. We evaluated the expression of these chemokines and chemokine receptors in kidney specimens. Materials and Methods: Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction we measured mRNA levels of IL-8, CXCR4 and 7, and SDF1 isoforms α, β and γ in a total of 166 specimens from 86 patients, including 86 tumor samples and 80 matched normal kidney samples. Mean ± SD followup was 18.9 ± 12 months (median 19.5). Renal cell carcinoma specimens included the clear cell, papillary and chromophobe subtype in 65, 10 and 5 cases, respectively, and oncocytoma in 6. A total of 17 cases were positive for metastasis. Results: Median CXCR4 and 7, and SFD1-γ levels were increased twofold to tenfold. SDF1-α and β were unchanged or lower in clear cell renal cell carcinoma and papillary tumors than in normal tissue. Median SDF1-γ, IL-8, and CXCR4 and 7 were increased threefold to fortyfold in chromophobe tumors compared to oncocytoma. CXCR4 and 7 were increased in tumors less than 4 cm (mean 3,057 ± 2,230 and 806 ± 691) compared to oncocytoma (336 ± 325 and 201 ± 281, respectively, p ≤0.016). On multivariate analysis CXCR4 (p = 0.01), CXCR7 (p = 0.02) and SDF1-β (p = 0.005) were independently associated with metastasis. Combined CXCR7 plus SDF1-α and CXCR7 plus IL-8 markers showed the highest sensitivity (71% to 81%) and specificity (75% to 80%) of all individual or combined markers. Conclusions: Chemokines and chemokine receptors differentiate renal cell carcinoma and oncocytoma. Combined SDF1-α plus CXCR7 and IL-8 plus CXCR7 markers have about 80% accuracy for predicting renal cell carcinoma metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-833
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • carcinoma
  • chemokines
  • kidney
  • neoplasm metastasis
  • prognosis
  • renal call

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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