Increased expression of system large amino acid transporter (LAT)-1 mRNA is associated with invasive potential and unfavorable prognosis of human clear cell renal cell carcinoma
L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1), a neutral amino acid transporter, requires covalent association with the heavy chain of 4F2 cell surface antigen (4F2hc) for its functional form. We investigated the importance of LAT1 and 4F2hc expressions to progression in upper urinary tract cancer. We examined their expressions and their relationships to clinicopathologic parameters and clinical outcome in 124 cases. Positive expressions of LAT1 (protein and messenger ribonucleic acid) and 4F2hc (protein) were recognized in 79.8, 89.5, and 87.9% of tumor samples, respectively. In tumor cells, LAT1 protein was detected either as nodular granules within the cytoplasm or diffusely within the cytoplasm and/or on plasma membrane. In the normal urothelium, its expression was detected as nodular granules within the cytoplasm. A correlation with stage was shown for LAT1 protein expression and for a cooperative expression of LAT1 protein with 4F2hc protein (active form of LAT1 protein). Further, in all tumors, a cooperative expression of LAT1 protein and 4F2hc protein was significantly correlated with both overall and disease-free survival rates in the univariate analysis but not in the multivariate analysis. In conclusion, the detection of the active form of LAT1 protein would appear to be of value in informing the risk of progression in transitional cell carcinoma of the upper urinary tract.