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Cancer Res. 1995 Nov 1;55(21):4804-7.

Suppression of growth of renal carcinoma cells by the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene.

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Biological Carcinogenesis and Development Program, SAIC Frederick, National Cancer Institute, Maryland 21702, USA.


Clear cell renal carcinomas are most frequently characterized by loss of function of both copies of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease gene, suggesting that the VHL gene product plays an important role in regulating renal cell proliferation. To directly assess the function of the VHL gene product, we transfected the wild-type VHL gene into two renal carcinoma cell lines that lacked normal expression of the gene. Expression of the wild-type VHL gene led to a dramatic suppression of growth in two renal carcinoma cell lines, A498 and UMRC6 in vitro, as measured by colony formation and direct cell counting. Transfection of a naturally occurring mutant VHL gene (nucleotide 713 G to A, Arg to Gln) did not lead to growth suppression of these renal carcinoma cells, nor did transfection of the wild-type VHL gene into two non-renal tumor cell lines that expressed the endogenous wild-type VHL gene. Expression constructs, which included the first ATG at nucleotide 214, were sufficient to produce the strongest growth suppression. These experiments provide direct evidence that the VHL gene product functions to suppress the growth of renal carcinoma cells and also provide a model for mapping the domains of the VHL protein important in suppressing tumor growth.

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