Next-generation RNA Sequencing-based Biomarker Characterization of Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma and Related Oncocytic Neoplasms.


Renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms. Recent sequencing studies revealed various molecular features associated with histologic RCC subtypes, including chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (ChRCC).

To characterize the gene expression and biomarker signatures associated with ChRCC.

We performed integrative analysis on RNA sequencing data available from 1049 RCC specimens from The Cancer Genome Atlas and in-house studies. Our workflow identified genes relatively enriched in ChRCC, including Forkhead box I1 (FOXI1), Rh family C glycoprotein (RHCG), and LINC01187. We assessed the expression pattern of FOXI1 and RHCG protein by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and LINC01187 mRNA by RNA in situ hybridization (RNA-ISH) in whole tissue sections representing a cohort of 197 RCC cases, including both primary and metastatic tumors.

The FOXI1 and RHCG IHC staining, as well as the LINC01187 RNA-ISH staining, was evaluated in each case for intensity, pattern, and localization of expression.

All primary and metastatic classic ChRCCs demonstrated homogeneous positive labeling for FOXI1, RHCG proteins, and LINC01187 transcript. Unclassified RCC with oncocytic features, oncocytoma, and hybrid oncocytic tumor, as well as all but two cases of eosinophilic ChRCC also stained positive. Importantly, metastatic and primary RCC of all other subtypes did not demonstrate any unequivocal staining for FOXI1, RHCG, or LINC01187. In normal kidney, FOXI1, RHCG, and LINC01187 were detected in the distal nephron segment, specifically in intercalated cells. Two cases of eosinophilic ChRCC with focal expression of FOXI1 and LINC01187, and Golgi-like RHCG staining were found to contain MTOR gene mutations upon DNA sequencing.

We demonstrate a pipeline for the identification and validation of RCC subtype-specific biomarkers that can aid in the confirmation of cell of origin and may facilitate accurate classification and diagnosis of renal tumors.

FOXI1, RHCG, and LINC01187 are lineage-specific signature genes for chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.

  • Argani P
  • Cao X
  • Chen J
  • Chinnaiyan AM
  • Cieślik MP
  • Dhanasekaran SM
  • Giordano TJ
  • Mannan R
  • Mehra R
  • Narayanan SP
  • Siddiqui J
  • Skala SL
  • Su F
  • Vats P
  • Wang L
  • Wang X
  • Zhang Y
PubMed ID
Appears In
Eur Urol, 2020, 78 (1)