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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 May 24;435(1):126-33. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.04.054. Epub 2013 Apr 22.

Effects of TGF-β signaling in clear cell renal cell carcinoma cells.

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  • 1Center for Molecular Pathology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, SE-205 02 Malmö, Sweden.


Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is by far the most common type of kidney cancer and is characterized by loss of the tumor suppressor gene von Hippel-Lindau (VHL). ccRCC patients with metastatic disease has poor prognosis and today's therapy is insufficient. The cytokine Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) has been extensively studied in tumor biology and is believed to serve a variety of functions in tumor progression. We have previously shown that inhibition of NOTCH signaling causes a reduced migratory and invasive capacity of ccRCC cells, at least partly by a cross-talk with the TGF-β pathway. In the present study we aimed to further clarify the role of TGF-β signaling in ccRCC. We investigated the effects of TGF-β pathway modulation and showed that TGF-β inhibition attenuates the invasive capacity of ccRCC cells. By performing expression profiling we obtained a gene signature of the TGF-β induced response in ccRCC cells. The expression analyses revealed an extensive overlap between the TGF-β response and genes regulated by the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF). The link between the hypoxic and the TGF-β pathways was further corroborated by functional experiments, which demonstrated that TGF-β pathway activity was attenuated upon reintroduction of functional VHL in ccRCC.

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