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J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2004 Jun;19(3):287-91.

Redox state and carbonic anhydrase isozyme IX expression in human renal cell carcinoma: biochemical and morphological investigations.

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Department of Pathology and Oncology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.


Clear renal cell carcinomas (RCC) frequently express carbonic anydrase IX (CA IX) because of non-functional mutation of von Hippel Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene. CA IX is a tumor-associated transmembrane antigen, which catalyzes the extracellular, reversible hydration of carbon dioxide to bicarbonate and proton and thereby contributes to acidification of extracellular milieu. Extracellular acidic pH facilitates tumor growth and progression. CA IX expression is upregulated by Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1), which is negatively controlled by oxygen via wild type VHL protein and is also regulated by the cell redox state. We investigated the immunohistochemical pattern of distribution of CA IX in a small series (14 cases) of RCCs. CA IX expression was matched with the redox state of RCC, stratifying our series in relation to clinical and histopathological parameters, such as Fuhrman grade, staging, proliferation markers expression, and particularly, the presence of necrosis. Our results show for the first time the existence of a perivascular pattern of CA IX distribution in RCC. We also found a significant relationship between CA IX expression and the presence of necrosis. Tumors with higher CA IX expression exhibited higher degree of necrosis (p < 0.05). Notably, an almost significant relationship between the redox state and CA IX expression was detected in RCC patients with 5 years disease-free survival, most of them showing organ-confined disease. Tumors with lower redox state showed an algebraically higher degree of CA IX expression. On the contrary, tumors with higher redox state exhibited an algebraically lower CA IX expression (p = 0.057). The observed relationship of CA IX expression and necrosis suggests a role for CA IX in RCC. Further investigations are necessary to further establish the role of the redox state in regulation of CA IX expression in RCC.

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