MN/CA9 is a cell surface glycoprotein and a tumor-associated antigen. It plays a crucial role in the regulation of cell proliferation and oncogenesis. There is no ideal tumor marker currently available for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with sufficient sensitivity and specificity. Therefore, we studied MN/CA9 gene expression in the tumor tissue, apparently normal kidney tissue, preoperative blood, and urine samples of patients with RCC. We included thirty cases of renal tumors (26 RCC and 4 benign tumors) in the study. We applied an RT-PCR assay for MN/CA9 gene expression to 26 RCC kidney tumor samples and four benign kidney tumor tissue samples. We also evaluated MN/CA9 gene expression in preoperative blood and urine samples of 15 of these cases. Additionally, thirty-five grossly normal renal tissue samples, including 21 from kidneys with RCC, were also evaluated for gene expression. The RT-PCR analysis revealed that twenty-one out of 26 RCC tissue samples showed MN/CA9 gene expression compared to three out of 35 non-malignant renal tissue samples (p < 0.05). Two out of four benign renal tissue samples also expressed this gene. We also observed MN/CA9 gene expression in nine out of 15 blood samples and four out of 15 urine samples. All patients with urinary MN/CA9 gene expression showed expression in blood and tumor tissue samples. We found a correlation in terms of MN/CA9 expression between blood and tumor tissue samples of RCC patients as those who exhibit MN/CA9 expression in blood were also positive at the tumor tissue levels. The difference in MN/CA9 gene expression in tumor tissue, blood, and urine samples in relation to the stage of the disease, nuclear grade, and histological cell-type was not statistically significant. However, all the three patients who had metastatic RCC had MN/CA9 gene expression in their blood. The existence of a tumor-associated antigen such as MN/CA9 may present a possible target for molecular diagnosis and management of RCC.
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