Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Apr;29(7):1707-18. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01184-07. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

Key role for activin B in cellular transformation after loss of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor.

Author information

  • 1Nikolaus Fiebiger Center, University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Glückstr. 6, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.


The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene (VHL) is mutated in clear cell renal cell carcinomas (RCC), leading to the activation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-mediated gene transcription. Several VHL/HIF targets, such as glycolysis, angiogenesis, cell growth, and chemotaxis of tumor cells, have been implicated in the transformed phenotype of RCC-regulating properties. Here, we show that VHL suppresses key features of cell transformation through downregulation of the HIF-dependent expression of activin B, a member of the transforming growth factor beta superfamily. Activin B expression is repressed by restoration of VHL in VHL-deficient RCC cells and upregulated by hypoxia. RCC tumor samples show increased expression of activin B compared to that in the normal kidney. VHL increases cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix, promotes cell flattening, and reduces invasiveness. These effects are completely phenocopied by RNA interference-mediated knockdown of activin B and reverted by treatment with recombinant activin B. Finally, knockdown of activin B reduces tumor growth of RCC cells in nude mice. Our data indicate that activin B is a key mediator of VHL/HIF-induced transformation in RCC.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk