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BJU Int. 2001 Dec;88(9):960-6.

Higher expression of K-ras is associated with parathyroid hormone-related protein-induced hypercalcaemia in renal cell carcinoma.

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Department of Urology, Dokkyo University School of Medicine, Mibu, Tochigi, Japan.



To determine whether the K-ras oncogene is associated with parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) production in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and whether the serum value of PTHrP is related to the patients' survival.


The serum levels of PTHrP and corrected serum calcium levels were analysed in 51 consecutive patients (29 men and 22 women, mean age 63.7 years, range 33-82) with newly diagnosed RCC. Matched pairs were analysed of the mRNA levels of K-ras and PTHrP in tumour and in corresponding non-tumour tissue originating from the same patient, using the polymerase chain reaction after reverse transcription.


Seven patients had elevated serum PTHrP values at the diagnosis of RCC. The mRNA expression of K-ras and PTHrP were detected in both tumour and non-tumour tissues, with K-ras mRNA levels being higher in the former than the latter (P < 0.05), and correlated with tumour stage (P < 0.05). There were no differences in PTHrP mRNA levels between the tissues. Furthermore, the mRNA levels of K-ras and PTHrP in seven tumours from patients with high serum values of PTHrP were higher than in tumours from those with normal values (both P < 0.01). The expression of mRNAs of K-ras and PTHrP was positively correlated (r = 0.771, P < 0.001). In seven patients with high serum PTHrP values the mRNA levels of PTHrP correlated with serum values of PTHrP and calcium (r = 0.875, P < 0.01 and r = 0.762, P < 0.05, respectively). Kaplan-Meier plots of survival rate in patients with elevated or normal serum PTHrP showed that high serum PTHrP was associated with a shorter overall survival (P < 0.05). The Cox proportional hazards model showed that serum PTHrP was an independent predictor of overall survival (P < 0.05).


These findings suggest that K-ras may be associated with PTHrP-induced hypercalcaemia and that PTHrP levels may reflect the aggressiveness of tumour cells through the K-ras oncogene in RCC.

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