BACKGROUND: Renal cell carcinomas (RCC) are among the most common and most lethal genitourinary malignancies. GOLPH2 (golgi phosphoprotein 2, GOLM1) has recently been proposed as a biomarker for hepatocellular and prostate cancer. In this study we analysed the expression patterns and the prognostic and diagnostic value of GOLPH2 in RCC.
METHODS: GOLPH2 protein expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry in 104 clinically well characterized RCC cases in comparison with matched normal kidney tissue and in association with clinico-pathological parameters. Statistical analyses including Kaplan Meier analyses were performed with SPSS version 15.0.
RESULTS: GOLPH2 was highly expressed in normal renal tubules and in almost half of RCC with a statistically significant predominance in the papillary and chromophobe histological subtypes. No other associations with clinico-pathological parameters were detectable. The Kaplan-Meier curves showed a weak trend for unfavourable prognosis of tumours with high GOLPH2 expression, but failed significance.
CONCLUSION: GOLPH2 protein is expressed in normal renal tissue (especially in distal tubular epithelia) and is down-regulated in the majority of clear cell RCC. In papillary and chromophobe RCC GOLPH2 expression is consistently present. In contrast to its diagnostic value in hepatocellular and prostatic carcinomas, a prognostic or diagnostic value of GOLPH2 in RCC appears to be unlikely.