Renal clear-cell carcinoma: An ultrastructural study on the junctional complexes

G. Kim, S. A. Rajasekaran, G. Thomas, E. A. Rosen, E. M. Landaw, P. Shintaku, C. Lassman, J. Said, Ayyappan K. Rajasekaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Junctional complexes such as tight junctions, adherens junctions, and desmosomes play crucial roles in the structure and function of epithelial cells. These junctions are involved in increasing cell-cell contact and as well serve as signaling centers regulating multiple functions in epithelial cells. Carcinoma cell lines cultured in the laboratory generally lack junctional complexes. However, studies directed towards understanding the distribution of junctional complexes in human cancer tissues are lacking. In this study, we analyzed by electron microscopy the distribution of junctional complexes in patients diagnosed with renal clear-cell carcinoma. We found that both tight junctions and adherens junctions were drastically reduced in patients with cancer compared to normal tissues. Desmosomes were not detected in normal proximal tubules while distinctly present in cancer tissues. These results suggest that analysis of junctional complexes in human tumors should provide valuable information that might have prognostic and diagnostic value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalHistology and histopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherens junction
  • Desmosome
  • Renal clear-cell carcinoma
  • Tight junction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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