The MiT subfamily of transcription factors includes TFE3, TFEB, TFC, and MiTF. Gene fusions involving two of these transcription factors have been identified in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The Xp11 translocation RCCs were first officially recognized in the 2004 WHO renal tumor classification, and harbor gene fusions involving TFE3. The t(6;11) RCCs harbor a specific Alpha-TFEB gene fusion and were first officially recognized in the 2013 International Society of Urologic Pathology (ISUP) Vancouver classification of renal neoplasia. These two subtypes of translocation RCC have many similarities. Both were initially described in and disproportionately involve young patients, though adult translocation RCC may overall outnumber pediatric cases. Both often have unusual and distinctive morphologies; the Xp11 translocation RCCs frequently have clear cells with papillary architecture and abundant psammomatous bodies, while the t(6;11) RCCs frequently have a biphasic appearance with both large and small epithelioid cells and nodules of basement membrane material. However, the morphology of these two neoplasms can overlap, with one mimicking the other. Both of these RCCs underexpress epithelial immunohistochemical markers like cytokeratin and epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) relative to most other RCCs. Unlike other RCCs, both frequently express the cysteine protease cathepsin k and often express melanocytic markers like HMB45 and Melan A. Finally, TFE3 and TFEB have overlapping functional activity as these two transcription factors frequently heterodimerize and bind to the same targets. Therefore, on the basis of clinical, morphologic, immunohistochemical, and genetic similarities, the 2013 ISUP Vancouver classification of renal neoplasia grouped these two neoplasms together under the heading of "MiT family translocation RCC." This review summarizes our current knowledge of these recently described RCCs.
- Chromosome translocation
- Renal cell carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine