Overexpression of YB1 and EZH2 are associated with cancer metastasis and poor prognosis in renal cell carcinomas

Yong Wang, Yajing Chen, Hua Geng, Can Qi, Yunde Liu, Dan Yue*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney cancers in adults, and metastasis represents the major cause of mortality of RCC patients. The Y-box binding protein 1 (YB1) is a multifunctional oncoprotein in various malignancies. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), a polycomb histone methyltransferase, is a key epigenetic modifier implicated in various cancer metastasis. However, the expression patterns and clinical correlations of both YB1 and EZH2 in RCC remain largely unclear. In this study, the expression of YB1 and EZH2 were examined using immunohistochemistry staining in a study cohort including 165 RCC and 80 tumor adjacent normal tissues. RCC tissues showed a significant higher nuclear expression of YB1 (p < 0.001) and EZH2 (p < 0.001) as compared with the normal counterparts. In addition, YB1 and EZH2 nuclear overexpression were found to be positively associated with RCC stage (p < 0.001 and p = 0.005), Fuhrman tumor grade (p = 0.022 and p = 0.044), and metastasis (p < 0.001 and p = 0.009). Overall survival analysis indicated patients with YB1 (p = 0.004, HR 5.656 (2.006–10.944)) and/or EZH2 (p = 0.006, HR 4.551 (2.124–9.438)) nuclear overexpression correlated with poor survival. More interestingly, YB1 and EZH2 nuclear expression was correlated (p = 0.005). Further studies demonstrated that EZH2 expression was significantly downregulated in YB1 knockdown RCC cell lines. Functionally, YB1 knockdown inhibited RCC invasion in vitro. In conclusion, YB1 and EZH2 expression was correlated and associated with RCC incidence, tumor stage, grade, metastasis, and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7159-7166
Number of pages8
JournalTumor Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Enhancer of zeste homolog 2
  • Nuclear expression
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Y-Box-binding protein 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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