Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma is linked to Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition and to Fibrosis

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) represents the most common type of kidney cancer with high mortality in its advanced stages. Our study aim was to explore the correlation between tumor epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and patient survival. Renal biopsies of tumorous and adjacent nontumorous tissue were taken with a 16 g needle from our patients (n = 26) undergoing partial or radical nephrectomy due to ccRCC RNA sequencing libraries were generated using Illumina TruSeq(®) Access library preparation protocol and TruSeq Small RNA library preparation kit. Next generation sequencing (NGS) was performed on Illumina HiSeq2500. Comparative analysis of matched sample pairs was done using the Bioconductor Limma/voom R-package. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and immunohistochemistry were applied to measure and visualize protein abundance. We detected an increased generic EMT transcript score in ccRCC Gene expression analysis showed augmented abundance of AXL and MMP14, as well as down-regulated expression of KL (klotho). Moreover, microRNA analyses demonstrated a positive expression correlation of miR-34a and its targets MMP14 and AXL Survival analysis based on a subset of genes from our list EMT-related genes in a publicly available dataset showed that the EMT genes correlated with ccRCC patient survival. Several of these genes also play a known role in fibrosis. Accordingly, recently published classifiers of solid organ fibrosis correctly identified EMT-affected tumor samples and were correlated with patient survival. EMT in ccRCC linked to fibrosis is associated with worse survival and may represent a target for novel therapeutic interventions.

Physiological reports. 2017 Jun [Epub]

Lea Landolt, Øystein Eikrem, Philipp Strauss, Andreas Scherer, David H Lovett, Christian Beisland, Kenneth Finne, Tarig Osman, Mohammad M Ibrahim, Gro Gausdal, Lavina Ahmed, James B Lorens, Jean Paul Thiery, Tuan Zea Tan, Miroslav Sekulic, Hans-Peter Marti

Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway., Spheromics, Kontiolahti, Finland., Department of Medicine, San Francisco VAMC University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California., BerGenBio AS, Bergen, Norway., Department of Biomedicine, Center for Cancer Biomarkers University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway., Science Institute of Singapore National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore., Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway .