A broad survey of cathepsin k immunoreactivity in human neoplasms

Gang Zheng, Guido Martignoni, Cristina Antonescu, Elizabeth A Montgomery, Charles Eberhart, Georges J Netto, Janis Taube, William H Westra, Jonathan I. Epstein, Tamara Lotan, Anirban Maitra, Edward Gabrielson, Michael S 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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