Cytoplasmic expression of CD133 stemness marker is associated with tumor aggressiveness in clear cell renal cell carcinoma
Abstract Prominin-1 (CD133) is one of the most commonly used markers for cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are characterized by their ability for self-renewal and tumorigenicity. However, the clinical and prognostic significance of CSCs in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression patterns and prognostic significance of the cancer stem cell marker CD133 in different histological subtypes of RCC. CD133 expression was evaluated using immunohistochemistry in 193 well-defined renal tumor samples on tissue microarrays, including 136 (70.5%) clear cell renal cell carcinomas (CCRCCs), 26 (13.5%) papillary RCCs, and 31 (16.1%) chromophobe RCCs. The association between CD133 expression and clinicopathological features as well as the survival outcomes was determined. There was a statistically significant difference between CD133 expression among the different RCC subtypes. In CCRCC, higher cytoplasmic expression of CD133 was significantly associated with increase in grade, stage, microvascular invasion (MVI) and lymph node invasion (LNI), while no association was found with the membranous expression. Moreover, on multivariate analysis, TNM stage and nuclear grade were independent prognostic factors for overall survival (OS) in cytoplasmic expression. We showed that higher cytoplasmic CD133 expression was associated with more aggressive tumor behavior and more advanced disease in CCRCC but not in the other examined subtypes. Our results demonstrated that higher cytoplasmic CD133 expression is clinically significant in CCRCC and is associated with increased tumor aggressiveness and is useful for predicting cancer progression. Highlights Aimed to investigate the membranous and cytoplasmic CD133 expression as a cancer stem cell marker and its correlation with tumor clinicopathological parameters of RCC samples, including clear cell, chromophobe, and papillary RCC. CD133 shift from membranous to cytoplasmic localization, is associated with a more invasive phenotype. High cytoplasmic CD133 expression was associated with increased tumor invasiveness and more advanced disease. Cytoplasmic CD133 expression is useful for predicting cancer progression in clear cell RCC patients but not in the other subtypes.
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