PRCC-TFE3 renal carcinomas: Morphologic, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and molecular analysis of an entity associated with the t(X;1)(p11.2;q21)

Pedram Argani, Cristina R. Antonescu, Jérôme Couturier, Jean Christophe Fournet, Raf Sciot, Maria Debiec-Rychter, Brian Hutchinson, Victor E. Reuter, Lilliane Boccon-Gibod, Charles Timmons, Naiel Hafez, Marc Ladanyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

300 Scopus citations


The reappraisal of genetically defined subsets of renal tumors can help to highlight the key pathologic features of specific neoplastic entities. We report the morphologic, immunophenotypic, ultrastructural, and molecular features of 11 renal carcinomas bearing a t(X;1)(p11.2;q21) and/or the resulting PRCC-TFE3 gene fusion. The male/female ratio was 4:7. Ten patients were in the age range of 9-29 years and one was 64 years old (mean 21.3 years, median 15 years). The predominant histologic pattern was nested, with islands of tumor cells compartmentalized by thin-walled capillary vasculature. Minor variations on this pattern yielded solid, acinar, alveolar, and tubular architecture. Papillary architecture was seen in nine cases, usually as a minor component. Neoplastic cells were typically characterized by irregularly shaped nuclei with vesicular chromatin and small nucleoli not visible with a 10x objective, and cytoplasm that ranged from clear to densely granular and eosinophilic. Mitoses were extremely rare; 5 were found in 900 high power fields examined from the 11 neoplasms. The most distinctive immunohistochemical feature of these neoplasms was moderate to intense nuclear labeling for TFE3 protein. These tumors were also consistently immunoreactive for the RCC antigen (10 of 11) and CD10 (9 of 9), whereas cytokeratin and epithelial membrane antigen were negative in four cases and were positive focally in the others. Ultrastructurally, all of the six neoplasms examined showed features consistent with conventional-type (clear cell) renal carcinoma, although two demonstrated distinctive intracisternal microtubules. Both tumors tested contained PRCC-TFE3 fusion transcripts. The differential diagnosis includes conventional-type papillary renal cell carcinoma, conventional-type (clear cell) renal carcinoma, and the ASPL-TFE3 renal carcinomas associated with the t(X;17)(p11,2;q25), with the latter two being morphologically the most similar to the t(X;1) renal carcinomas. Aside from their distinctive clinicopathologic features described here, there is experimental evidence suggesting that these tumors may show differential sensitivity to certain chemotherapeutic agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1553-1566
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2002


  • Carcinoma
  • Chromosome
  • Kidney
  • Pediatric
  • Translocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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