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Cancer Res. 2006 Apr 1;66(7):3567-75.

Regulation of E-cadherin expression by VHL and hypoxia-inducible factor.

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  • 1Renal Laboratory, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK.

Abstract

Mutations in von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene (VHL) underlie the VHL hereditary cancer syndrome and also occur in most sporadic clear cell renal cell cancers (CCRCC). Currently, the mechanism(s) by which VHL loss of function promotes tumor development in the kidney are not fully elucidated. Here, we show that VHL inactivation in precancerous lesions in kidneys from patients with VHL disease correlates with marked down-regulation of the intercellular adhesion molecule E-cadherin. Moreover, in VHL-defective cell lines (RCC4 and RCC10) derived from sporadic CCRCC, reexpression of VHL was found to restore E-cadherin expression. The product of the VHL gene has multiple reported functions, the best characterized of which is its role as the recognition component of an ubiquitin E3 ligase complex responsible for mediating oxygen-dependent destruction of hypoxia-inducible factor-alpha (HIF-alpha) subunits. We show that HIF activation is necessary and sufficient to suppress E-cadherin in renal cancer cells. Given the fundamental role of E-cadherin in controlling epithelial behavior, our findings give insight into how VHL inactivation/HIF activation may lead to kidney cancer and also indicate a mechanism by which reduced oxygenation could alter E-cadherin expression in other cancers and influence normal homeostasis in other epithelia.

PMID:
16585181
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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