Open Access Open Badges Research article

Decreased expression of dual-specificity phosphatase 9 is associated with poor prognosis in clear cell renal cell carcinoma

Song Wu1234, Yong Wang2, Liang Sun2, Zhiling Zhang4, Zhimao Jiang2, Zike Qin4, Hui Han4, Zhuowei Liu4, Xianxin Li2, Aifa Tang1, Yaoting Gui2, Zhiming Cai123* and Fangjian Zhou4*

Author affiliations

1 Shenzhen Second People's Hospital, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518035, PR China

2 Institute of Urology, Shenzhen PKU-HKUST Medical Center, Shenzhen 518036, Guangdong, PR China

3 Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230022, An Hui, PR China

4 Department of Urology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou 510060, Guangdong, PR China

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Citation and License

BMC Cancer 2011, 11:413  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-413

Published: 26 September 2011



The molecular mechanisms involved in the development and progression of clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs) are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to analyze the expression of dual-specificity phosphatase 9 (DUSP-9) and determine its clinical significance in human ccRCCs.


The expression of DUSP-9 mRNA was determined in 46 paired samples of ccRCCs and adjacent normal tissues by using real-time qPCR. The expression of the DUSP-9 was determined in 211 samples of ccRCCs and 107 paired samples of adjacent normal tissues by immunohistochemical analysis. Statistical analysis was performed to define the relationship between the expression of DUSP-9 and the clinical features of ccRCC.


The mRNA level of DUSP-9, which was determined by real-time RT-PCR, was found to be significantly lower in tumorous tissues than in the adjacent non-tumorous tissues (p < 0.001). An immunohistochemical analysis of 107 paired tissue specimens showed that the DUSP-9 expression was lower in tumorous tissues than in the adjacent non-tumorous tissues (p < 0.001). Moreover, there was a significant correlation between the DUSP-9 expression in ccRCCs and gender (p = 0.031), tumor size (p = 0.001), pathologic stage (p = 0.001), Fuhrman grade (p = 0.002), T stage (p = 0.001), N classification (p = 0.012), metastasis (p = 0.005), and recurrence (p < 0.001). Patients with lower DUSP-9 expression had shorter overall survival time than those with higher DUSP-9 expression (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis indicated that low expression of the DUSP-9 was an independent predictor for poor survival of ccRCC patients.


To our knowledge, this is the first study that determines the relationship between DUSP-9 expression and prognosis in ccRCC. We found that decreased expression of DUSP-9 is associated with poor prognosis in ccRCC. DUSP-9 may represent a novel and useful prognostic marker for ccRCC.