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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2013;6(6):1086-1094

Original Article
Evaluation of Argonaute protein as a predictive marker for human clear cell renal cell
carcinoma

Wei Li, Min Liu, Yuan Feng, Yun-Fei Xu, Jian-Ping Che, Guang-Chun Wang, Jun-Hua Zheng, Heng-Jun Gao

Department of Urology, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Tongji University, Shanghai, 200072, China; Department of Nephrology, Nanjing
University Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210093, China; National Engineering Center for Biochip at Shanghai, 201203,
China. Equal contributors.

Received April 3, 2013; Accepted April 29, 2013; Epub May 15, 2013; Published June 1, 2013

Abstract: Argonaute subfamily proteins are involved in human organ growth and development. Recent studies found its association with
human breast cancer, however, its expression profile and its prognostic value in clear cell renal cancer (ccRCC) have not been investigated.
Methods: Expression of the Argonaute proteins were assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in tissue microarrays (TMA), containing paired
tumor tissue and adjacent non-cancer tissue from 176 patients who had undergone surgery in hospital for histologically proven ccRCC.
Prognostic value and correlation with other clinico-pathologic factors were evaluated in two classifications. Results: Data showed a significant
higher expression of Argonaute 1 and Argonaute 2 present in neoplastic tissues compared with that in adjacent tissue; A significant correlation
existed between the higher expression of Argonaute 1 protein with the T stage, lymph node metastasis and clinical TNM (cTNM); Survival
analysis by Kaplan-Meier survival curve and log-rank test demonstrated that elevated Argonaute 1 and Argonaute 2 expression in cancer tissue
predicted poorer overall survival (OS) compared with group in lower expression (36.3% VS 67.1%; 37.3% VS 53.9%; respectively). Notably,
multivariate analyses by Cox’s proportional hazard model revealed that expression of Argonaute 2 was an independent prognostic factor in
renal cancer. Conclusions: In summary, our present study clarify that the aberrant expression of Argonaute in human RCC is possibly involved
with tumorigenesis and development, and the Argonaute protein could act as a potential biomarker for prognosis assessment of renal cancer.
Related mechanism is worthy of further investigation. (IJCEP1304005).

Keywords: Renal cancer, Argonaute protein, immunohistochemistry, tissue microarray

Address correspondence to: Jun-Hua Zheng, Department of Urology, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Tongji University, No 301, Yanchang
Mid-Road, Shanghai, 200072, China. E-mail: kidneyliu@163.com