UBE2QL1 is disrupted by a constitutional translocation associated with renal tumor predisposition and is a novel candidate renal tumor suppressor gene.
ABSTRACT: Investigation of rare familial forms of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has led to the identification of genes such as VHL and MET that are also implicated in the pathogenesis of sporadic RCC. In order to identify a novel candidate renal tumor suppressor gene, we characterized the breakpoints of a constitutional balanced translocation, t(5;19)(p15.3;q12), associated with familial RCC and found that a previously uncharacterized gene UBE2QL1 was disrupted by the chromosome 5 breakpoint. UBE2QL1 mRNA expression was downregulated in 78.6% of sporadic RCC and, although no intragenic mutations were detected, gene deletions and promoter region hypermethylation were detected in 17.3% and 20.3%, respectively, of sporadic RCC. Reexpression of UBE2QL1 in a deficient RCC cell line suppressed anchorage-independent growth. UBE2QL1 shows homology to the E2 class of ubiquitin conjugating enzymes and we found that (1) UBE2QL1 possesses an active-site cysteine (C88) that is monoubiquitinated in vivo, and (2) UBE2QL1 interacts with FBXW7 (an F box protein providing substrate recognition to the SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase) and facilitates the degradation of the known FBXW7 targets, CCNE1 and mTOR. These findings suggest UBE2QL1 as a novel candidate renal tumor suppressor gene.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) clusters in some families. Familial RCC arises from mutations in several genes, including the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor, which is also mutated in sporadic RCC. However, a significant percentage of familial RCC remains unexplained. Recently, we discovered that the BRCA1-associated protein-1 (BAP1) gene is mutated in sporadic RCC. The BAP1 gene encodes a nuclear deubiquitinase and appears to be a classic two-hit tumor suppressor gene. Somatic BAP1 mutations are associated with high-grade, clear-cell RCC (ccRCC) and poor patient outcomes. To determine whether BAP1 predisposes to familial RCC, the BAP1 gene was sequenced in 83 unrelated probands with unexplained familial RCC. Interestingly, a novel variant (c.41T>A; p.L14H) was uncovered that cosegregated with the RCC phenotype. The p.L14H variant targets a highly conserved residue in the catalytic domain, which is frequently targeted by missense mutations. The family with the novel BAP1 variant was characterized by early-onset ccRCC, occasionally of high Fuhrman grade, and lacked other features that typify VHL syndrome. These findings suggest that BAP1 is an early-onset familial RCC predisposing gene. IMPLICATIONS:BAP1 mutations may drive tumor development in a subset of patients with inherited renal cell cancer.
Project description:Our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the tumorigenesis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has partially come from studies of RCC related familial cancer syndromes such as von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease and hereditary papillary RCC (HPRC). These studies have led to the identification of RCC related genes, which, besides allowing accurate diagnosis of these diseases, have been found mutated or abnormally expressed in the sporadic counterparts of these familial renal tumours. To date, a number of renal tumour related syndromes have been described. We review recent advances in this field and discuss a genetic approach to managing familial cases of renal tumours occasionally encountered by cancer geneticists and urologists.
Project description:The most frequent cause of familial clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is von Hippel-Lindau disease and the VHL tumor suppressor gene (TSG) is inactivated in most sporadic clear cell RCC. Although there is relatively little information on the mechanisms of tumorigenesis of clear cell RCC without VHL inactivation, a subset of familial cases harbors a balanced constitutional chromosome 3 translocation. To date nine different chromosome 3 translocations have been associated with familial or multicentric clear cell RCC; and in three cases chromosome 6 was also involved. To identify candidate genes for renal tumorigenesis we characterized a constitutional translocation, t(3;6)(q22;q16.1) associated with multicentric RCC without evidence of VHL target gene dysregulation. Analysis of breakpoint sequences revealed a 1.3-kb deletion on chromosome 6 within the intron of a 2 exon predicted gene (NT_007299.434). However, RT-PCR analysis failed to detect the expression of this gene in lymphoblast, fibroblast, or kidney tumor cell lines. No known genes were disrupted by the translocation breakpoints but several candidate TSGs (e.g., EPHB1, EPHA7, PPP2R3A RNF184, and STAG1) map within close proximity to the breakpoints.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The investigation of rare familial forms of kidney cancer has provided important insights into the biology of sporadic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In particular, the identification of the von Hippel Lindau (VHL) familial cancer syndrome gene (VHL) provided the basis for the discovery that VHL is somatically inactivated in most sporadic clear cell RCC. Many cases of familial RCC do not have mutations in known RCC susceptibility genes and there is evidence that genetic modifiers may influence the risk of RCC in VHL disease patients. Hence we hypothesised that low-penetrance functional genetic variants in pathways related to the VHL protein (pVHL) function might (a) modify the phenotypic expression of VHL disease and/or (b) predispose to sporadic RCC. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:We tested this hypothesis for functional polymorphisms in CDH1 (rs16260), IGFBP3 (rs2854744), MMP1 (rs1799750), MMP3 (rs679620), STK15 (rs2273535) and VEGF (rs1570360). We observed that variants of MMP1 and MMP3 were significant modifiers of RCC risk (and risks of retinal angioma and cerebellar haemangioblastoma) in VHL disease patients. In addition, higher frequencies of the MMP1 rs1799750 2G allele (p = 0.017, OR 1.49, 95%CI 1.06-2.08) and the MMP1/MMP3 rs1799750/rs679620 2G/G haplotype (OR 1.45, 95%CI 1.01-2.10) were detected in sporadic RCC patients than in controls (n = 295). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:These findings (a) represent the first example of genetic modifiers of RCC risk in VHL disease, (b) replicate a previous report of an association between MMP1/MMP3 variants and sporadic RCC and (c) further implicate MMP1/MMP3-related pathways in the pathogenesis of familial and sporadic RCC.
Project description:Constitutional translocations, typically involving chromosome 3, have been recognized as a rare cause of inherited predisposition to renal cell carcinoma (RCC) for four decades. However, knowledge of the molecular basis of this association is limited. We have characterized the breakpoints by genome sequencing (GS) of constitutional chromosome abnormalities in five individuals who presented with RCC. In one individual with constitutional t(10;17)(q11.21;p11.2), the translocation breakpoint disrupted two genes: the known renal tumor suppressor gene (TSG) FLCN (and clinical features of Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome were detected) and RASGEF1A. In four cases, the rearrangement breakpoints did not disrupt known inherited RCC genes. In the second case without chromosome 3 involvement, the translocation breakpoint in an individual with a constitutional t(2;17)(q21.1;q11.2) mapped 12 Kb upstream of NLK. Interestingly, NLK has been reported to interact indirectly with FBXW7 and a previously reported RCC-associated translocation breakpoint disrupted FBXW7. In two cases of constitutional chromosome 3 translocations, no candidate TSGs were identified in the vicinity of the breakpoints. However, in an individual with a constitutional chromosome 3 inversion, the 3p breakpoint disrupted the FHIT TSG (which has been reported previously to be disrupted in two apparently unrelated families with an RCC-associated t(3;8)(p14.2;q24.1). These findings (a) expand the range of constitutional chromosome rearrangements that may be associated with predisposition to RCC, (b) confirm that chromosome rearrangements not involving chromosome 3 can predispose to RCC, (c) suggest that a variety of molecular mechanisms are involved the pathogenesis of translocation-associated RCC, and (d) demonstrate the utility of GS for investigating such cases.
Project description:Familial renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is genetically heterogeneous. Genetic predisposition to clear cell RCC (CCRCC) is a major feature of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease (MIM 193300) and has rarely been associated with chromosome 3 translocations. In addition, familial papillary (non-clear cell) RCC may result from germline mutations in the MET proto-oncogene (MIM 164860). However, rare kindreds with familial CCRCC (FCRC) not linked to the VHL tumour suppressor gene have been described suggesting that further familial RCC susceptibility genes exist. To investigate the genetic epidemiology of FCRC, we undertook a clinical and molecular study of FCRC in nine kindreds with two or more cases of CCRCC in first degree relatives. FCRC was characterised by an earlier age at onset (mean 47.1 years, 52% of cases <50 years of age) than sporadic cases. These findings differ from the only previous report of two FCRC kindreds and have important implications for renal surveillance in FCRC. The molecular basis of CCRCC susceptibility was investigated in nine FCRC kindreds and seven isolated cases with features of possible genetic susceptibility to CCRCC (four bilateral CCRCC aged <50 years and three with unilateral CCRCC aged <30 years). No germline mutations were detected in the VHL or MET genes, suggesting that FCRC is not allelic with VHL disease or HPRC. As binding of the VHL gene product to the CUL2 protein is important for pVHL function, we then searched for germline CUL2 mutations. Although CUL2 polymorphisms were identified, no pathogenic mutations were detected. These findings further define the clinical features of FCRC and exclude a major role for mutations in VHL, MET, or CUL2 in this disorder.
Project description:Germline mutations in the BHD gene cause the dominantly inherited cancer susceptibility disorder, Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome. Individuals with BHD are reported to have an increased risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and of colorectal polyps and cancer. The BHD gene maps to 17p11.2, and to investigate whether somatic inactivation of the BHD gene region is implicated in the pathogenesis of sporadic RCC and colorectal cancer (CRC), we performed mutation analysis in 30 RCC primary tumours and cell lines, and 35 CRCs and cell lines. A somatic missense mutation (Ala444Ser) with loss of the wild type allele (consistent with a two hit mechanism of tumorigenesis) was detected in a primary clear cell RCC, and a further missense mutation (Ala238Val) was identified in a clear cell RCC cell line for which matched normal DNA was not available. A somatic missense substitution (Arg392Gly) was identified in a primary CRC, and the same change was detected in three RCCs (all oncocytomas) for which matched normal DNA was not available. A germline Arg320Gln missense variant detected in a primary CRC was not detected in 40 control individuals or in a further 159 familial and sporadic CRC cases. However, AA homozygotes for an intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (c.1517+6 G-->A) were under-represented in familial cases compared with controls (p = 0.03). For some tumour suppressor genes, epigenetic silencing is a more common mechanism of inactivation than somatic mutations. However, we did not detect evidence of epigenetic silencing of BHD in 19 CRC and RCC cell lines, and BHD promoter region hypermethylation was not detected in 20 primary RCCs. These findings suggest that BHD inactivation occurs in a subset of clear cell RCC and CRC.
Project description:Loss of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene function occurs in familial and most sporadic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), resulting in the aberrant expression of genes that control cell proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis. The molecular mechanisms by which VHL loss leads to tumorigenesis are not yet fully defined. VHL loss has been shown to allow robust RCC cell motility, invasiveness, and morphogenesis in response to hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) stimulation, processes that are known to contribute to tumor invasiveness and metastatic potential. Among the most likely intracellular mediators of these HGF-driven activities is beta-catenin, a structural link between cadherens and the actin cytoskeleton, as well as a gene transactivator. We show that reconstitution of VHL expression in RCC cells repressed HGF-stimulated beta-catenin tyrosyl phosphorylation, adherens junction disruption, cytoplasmic beta-catenin accumulation, and reporter gene transactivation in RCC cells. Ectopic expression of a ubiquitination-resistant beta-catenin mutant specifically restored HGF-stimulated invasion and morphogenesis in VHL-transfected RCC cells. VHL gene silencing in non-RCC renal epithelial cells phenotypically mimicked VHL loss in RCC, and HGF-driven invasiveness was blocked by the expression of a dominant-negative mutant of Tcf. We conclude that, unlike many other cancers, where HGF pathway activation contributes to malignancy through the acquisition of autocrine signaling, receptor overexpression, or mutation, in RCC cells VHL loss enables HGF-driven oncogenic beta-catenin signaling. These findings identify beta-catenin as a potential target in biomarker and drug development for RCC.
Project description:Functional inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene is the cause of the familial VHL disease and most sporadic renal clear-cell carcinomas (RCC). pVHL has been shown to play a role in the destruction of hypoxia-inducible factor alpha (HIF-alpha) subunits via ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis and in the regulation of fibronectin matrix assembly. Although most disease-causing pVHL mutations hinder the regulation of the HIF pathway, every disease-causing pVHL mutant tested to date has failed to promote the assembly of the fibronectin matrix, underscoring its potential importance in VHL disease. Here, we report that a ubiquitin-like molecule called NEDD8 covalently modifies pVHL. A nonneddylateable pVHL mutant, while retaining its ability to ubiquitylate HIF, failed to bind to and promote the assembly of the fibronectin matrix. Expression of the neddylation-defective pVHL in RCC cells, while restoring the regulation of HIF, failed to promote the differentiated morphology in a three-dimensional growth assay and was insufficient to suppress the formation of tumors in SCID mice. These results suggest that NEDD8 modification of pVHL plays an important role in fibronectin matrix assembly and that in the absence of such regulation, an intact HIF pathway is insufficient to prevent VHL-associated tumorigenesis.
Project description:RAS p21 protein activator 1 (RASA1), also known as p120-RasGAP, is a RasGAP protein that functions as a signaling scaffold protein, regulating pivotal signal cascades. However, its biological mechanism in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) remains unknown. In the present study, RASA1, F-box/WD repeat-containing protein 7 (FBXW7), and miR-223-3p expression were assessed via quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot. Then, the targeted correlations of miR-223-3p with FBXW7 and RASA1 were verified via a dual-luciferase reporter gene assay. CCK-8, flow cytometry, and Transwell assays were implemented independently to explore the impact of RASA1 on cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and cell cycle progression. Finally, the influence of RASA1 on tumor formation in RCC was assessed in vivo through the analysis of tumor growth in nude mice. Results showed that FBXW7 and RASA1 expression were decreased in RCC tissues and cell lines, while miR-223-3p was expressed at a higher level. Additionally, FBXW7 and RASA1 inhibited cell proliferation but facilitated the population of RCC cells in the G0/G1 phase. Altogether, RASA1 may play a key role in the progression of RCC by decreasing miR-223-3p and subsequently increasing FBXW7 expression.