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Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2016;81:113-121. doi: 10.1101/sqb.2016.81.030833. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

Targeting HIF2 in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 022145.


Inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor-suppressor protein (pVHL) is the signature "truncal" event in clear cell renal cell carcinoma, which is the most common form of kidney cancer. pVHL is part of a ubiquitin ligase the targets the α subunit of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) transcription factor for destruction when oxygen is available. Preclinical studies strongly suggest that deregulation of HIF, and particularly HIF2, drives pVHL-defective renal carcinogenesis. Although HIF2α was classically considered undruggable, structural and chemical work by Rick Bruick and Kevin Gardner at University of Texas Southwestern laid the foundation for the development of small molecule direct HIF2α antagonists (PT2385 and the related tool compound PT2399) by Peloton Therapeutics that block the dimerization of HIF2α with its partner protein ARNT1. These compounds inhibit clear cell renal cell carcinoma growth in preclinical models, and PT2385 has now entered the clinic. Nonetheless, the availability of such compounds, together with clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-based gene editing approaches, has revealed a previously unappreciated heterogeneity among clear cell renal carcinomas and patient-derived xenografts with respect to HIF2 dependence, suggesting that predictive biomarkers will be needed to optimize the use of such agents in the clinic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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