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Nat Genet. 2013 Aug;45(8):860-7. doi: 10.1038/ng.2699. Epub 2013 Jun 24.

Integrated molecular analysis of clear-cell renal cell carcinoma.

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Cancer Genomics Project, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most prevalent kidney cancer and its molecular pathogenesis is incompletely understood. Here we report an integrated molecular study of ccRCC in which ≥100 ccRCC cases were fully analyzed by whole-genome and/or whole-exome and RNA sequencing as well as by array-based gene expression, copy number and/or methylation analyses. We identified a full spectrum of genetic lesions and analyzed gene expression and DNA methylation signatures and determined their impact on tumor behavior. Defective VHL-mediated proteolysis was a common feature of ccRCC, which was caused not only by VHL inactivation but also by new hotspot TCEB1 mutations, which abolished Elongin C-VHL binding, leading to HIF accumulation. Other newly identified pathways and components recurrently mutated in ccRCC included PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling, the KEAP1-NRF2-CUL3 apparatus, DNA methylation, p53-related pathways and mRNA processing. This integrated molecular analysis unmasked new correlations between DNA methylation, gene mutation and/or gene expression and copy number profiles, enabling the stratification of clinical risks for patients with ccRCC.

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