A broad survey of cathepsin k immunoreactivity in human neoplasms

Gang Zheng, Guido Martignoni, Cristina Antonescu, Elizabeth Montgomery, Charles Eberhart, George Netto, Janis Taube, William Westra, Jonathan I. Epstein, Tamara Lotan, Anirban Maitra, Edward Gabrielson, Michael Torbenson, Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue, Angelo Demarzo, Ie Ming Shih, Peter Illei, T. C. Wu, Pedram Argani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Cathepsin K is consistently and diffusely expressed in alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS) and a subset of translocation renal cell carcinomas (RCCs). However, cathepsin K expression in human neoplasms has not been systematically analyzed. We constructed tissue microarrays (TMA) from a wide variety of human neoplasms, and performed cathepsin K immunohistochemistry (IHC). Only 2.7% of 1,140 carcinomas from various sites exhibited cathepsin K labeling, thus suggesting that among carcinomas, cathepsin K labeling is highly specific for translocation RCC. In contrast to carcinomas, cathepsin K labeling was relatively common (54.6%) in the 414 mesenchymal lesions studied, including granular cell tumor, melanoma, and histiocytic lesions, but not paraganglioma, all of which are in the morphologic differential diagnosis of ASPS. Cathepsin K IHC can be helpful in distinguishing ASPS and translocation RCC from some but not all of the lesions in their differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Cathepsin K
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • TFE3
  • TFEB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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