VHL substrate transcription factor ZHX2 as an oncogenic driver in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: Inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) E3 ubiquitin ligase protein is a hallmark of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Identifying how pathways affected by VHL loss contribute to ccRCC remains challenging. We used a genome-wide in vitro expression strategy to identify proteins that bind VHL when hydroxylated. Zinc fingers and homeoboxes 2 (ZHX2) was found as a VHL target, and its hydroxylation allowed VHL to regulate its protein stability. Tumor cells from ccRCC patients with VHL loss-of-function mutations usually had increased abundance and nuclear localization of ZHX2. Functionally, depletion of ZHX2 inhibited VHL-deficient ccRCC cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, integrated chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing and microarray analysis showed that ZHX2 promoted nuclear factor ?B activation. These studies reveal ZHX2 as a potential therapeutic target for ccRCC.
Project description:Inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) E3 ubiquitin ligase protein is a hallmark of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Identifying how pathways affected by VHL loss contribute to ccRCC remains challenging. We used a genome-wide in vitro expression strategy to identify proteins that bound VHL only when hydroxylated. Zinc fingers and homeoboxes 2 (ZHX2) was found as a VHL target and its hydroxylation allowed VHL to regulate its protein stability. Tumor cells from ccRCC patients with VHL loss-of-function mutations usually had increased ZHX2 amount and nuclear localization. Functionally, depletion of ZHX2 inhibited VHL-deficient ccRCC cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, integrated ChIP-Seq and microarray analysis showed that ZHX2 promoted NF-kB activation. These studies reveal ZHX2 as a potential therapeutic target for ccRCC. Overall design: ZHX2 is identified as a VHL substrate from a genome-wide screen, which promotes NF-kB pathway activation and ccRCC tumorigenesis. We profiled NFkB-p65 and ZHX2 occupancy genome-wide using ChIP-seq in ccRCC 786-0 cells
Project description:Renal cell carcinoma is one of the most malignant cancers, with limited prognostic prediction system. The present study aimed to determine the prognostic value of novel von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) substrate targets in predicting the outcome of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). A total of 97 patients with ccRCC were enrolled in the present study, and the tissue microarray that was constructed using 97 ccRCC samples was used for immunohistochemical analysis. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to determine the independent prognostic factors. Reverse transcription-quantitative PCR analysis demonstrated that the mRNA expression levels of scm-like with four malignant brain tumor domains (SFMBT1) and zinc fingers and homeoboxes 2 (ZHX2) were upregulated in cancer tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. Among the 97 patients with ccRCC, SFMBT1 expression was upregulated in 61.9% (60/97), while ZHX2 expression was upregulated in 52.6% (51/97). Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) analyses indicated that SFMBT1 or ZHX2 alone were of limited predictive value; however, the combined expression of these two targets (high SFMBT1 and high ZHX2 expression, SHZH group) was significantly associated with OS (P=0.0350) and DFS (P=0.0434). In addition, multivariate analysis identified SHZH as an independent prognostic factor in patients with ccRCC. Taken together, these results suggest that SFMBT1 and ZHX2 act as novel substrate targets of VHL and, to the best of our knowledge, the present study was the first to provide insight on the co-expression of these two targets in representing a promising biomarker to predict the outcome of patients with ccRCC.
Project description:Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is characterized by loss of tumor suppressor Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) function. VHL is the component of E3 ligase complex that promotes the ubiquitination and degradation of hypoxia inducible factor alpha (including HIF1alpha and HIF2alpha) and Zinc Fingers And Homeoboxes 2 (ZHX2). Our recent research showed that ZHX2 contributed to ccRCC tumorigenesis in a HIF independent manner. However, it remains unknown whether ZHX2 can be regulated through deubiquitination. Here we performed a deubiquitinase (DUB) cDNA library binding screen and identified USP13 as a novel DUB that bound ZHX2 and promoted ZHX2 deubiquitination. As a result, USP13 promoted ZHX2 protein stability in an enzymatically dependent manner and depletion of USP13 led to ZHX2 downregulation in ccRCC. Functionally, USP13 depletion led to decreased cell proliferation measured by 2-D colony formation and 3-D anchorage independent growth. USP was a critical effector on maintaining kidney tumorigenesis in an orthotopic xenograft model and its depletion led to both decreased primary kidney tumorigenesis and spontaneous lung metastasis. Our results suggest that USP13 is a potential new therapeutic target in ccRCC. Overall design: RNA-seq in 786-O cells after knockdown of ZHX2 or USP13 with two different shRNAs
Project description:Zinc fingers and homeoboxes 2 (ZHX2) was found as a novel VHL substrate target, and acted as an oncogenic driver in ccRCC. However, the detailed mechanism of ZHX2 in ccRCC development remains elusive, and no research has focused on studying ZHX2 in drug resistance yet. A tissue microarray with 358 ccRCC samples was used to determine the expression of ZHX2 in ccRCC patients. VHL-deficient cell line 786-O and VHL-normal cell line CAKI-1 was used for lineage reprogramming by transfecting with lentivirus. The in vitro and in vivo experiments were performed with these new cell lines to determine the mechanism of ZHX2 in ccRCC development and drug resistance. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed that ZHX2 was not highly expressed in ccRCC tumor tissues, only 33.2% (119/358) patients have high ZHX2 expression. However, high ZHX2 was significantly associated with advanced Fuhrman grade (p = 0.004), and proved to be an independent prognosis factor for progression-free survival (p = 0.0003), while there is no significant correlation with overall survival. We further discovered that ZHX2 overexpression could increase VEGF secretion and transcriptional activate the MEK/ERK1/2 and promote its downstream targets. We also found ZHX2 overexpression induce Sunitinib resistance though activating autophagy and the combination treatment of Sunitinib and Chloroquine could significantly rescue the phenomenon. In summary, these results indicate that ZHX2 drivers cell growth, migration though increase VEGF expression, and transcriptional activate MEK/ERK1/2 signaling pathway, and could induce Sunitinib resistance by regulating self-protective autophagy, these may provide new insight in advanced ccRCC treatment.
Project description:The von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) is deficient in ?70% of clear-cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCC), which contributes to the carcinogenesis and drug resistance of ccRCC. Here we show that VHL-deficient ccRCC cells present enhanced cytotoxicity of anthracyclines in a hypoxia-inducible factor-independent manner. By subtractive proteomic analysis coupling with RNAi or overexpression verification, aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) is found to be transcriptionally regulated by VHL and contributes to enhanced anthracyclines cytotoxicity in ccRCC cells. Furthermore, VHL regulates ALDH2 expression by directly binding the promoter of -130?bp to -160?bp to activate the transcription of hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF-4?). In addition, a positive correlation is found among the protein expressions of VHL, HNF-4? and ALDH2 in ccRCC samples. These findings will deepen our understanding of VHL function and shed light on precise treatment for ccRCC patients.
Project description:Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a malignancy of the kidney originating from the tubular epithelium. Inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor-suppressor gene (<i>VHL</i>) is found in most clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs). The <i>VHL</i>-HIF-VEGF/VEGFR pathway, which involves the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (<i>VHL</i>), hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and its receptor (VEGFR), is a well-studied therapeutic target for metastatic ccRCC. Therefore, over the past decade, anti-angiogenic agents targeting VEGFR have served as the standard treatment for metastatic RCC. Recently, based on the immunomodulatory effect of anti-VEGFR therapy, anti-angiogenic agents and immune checkpoint inhibitor combination strategies have also emerged as therapeutic strategies. These advances were made possible by the improved understanding of the <i>VHL</i>-HIF pathway. In this review, we summarize the historical evolution of ccRCC treatments, with a focus on the involvement of the <i>VHL</i>-HIF pathway.
Project description:Vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) is an adhesion molecule assigned to the activated endothelium mediating immune cells adhesion and extravasation. However, its expression in renal carcinomas inversely correlates with tumor malignancy. Our experiments in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) cell lines demonstrated that von Hippel Lindau (VHL) loss, hypoxia, or PHD (for prolyl hydroxylase domain-containing proteins) inactivation decreased VCAM-1 levels through a transcriptional mechanism that was independent of the hypoxia-inducible factor and dependent on the nuclear factor ?B signaling pathway. Conversely, VHL expression leads to high VCAM-1 levels in ccRCC, which in turn leads to better outcomes, possibly by favoring antitumor immunity through VCAM-1 interaction with the ?4?1 integrin expressed in immune cells. Remarkably, in ccRCC human samples with VHL nonmissense mutations, we observed a negative correlation between VCAM-1 levels and ccRCC stage, microvascular invasion, and symptom presentation, pointing out the clinical value of VCAM-1 levels as a marker of ccRCC progression.
Project description:Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is the main cause of inherited clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) and is caused by germline mutations in the VHL tumor suppressor gene. Bi-allelic VHL alterations lead to inactivation of pVHL, which plays a major role by downstream activation of the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) pathway. Somatic VHL mutations occur in 80% of sporadic ccRCC cases and the second most frequently mutated gene is polybromo 1 (PBRM1). As there is currently no data regarding PBRM1 involvement in VHL disease-associated ccRCC, the aim of the present study was to assess the PBRM1 mutational status, and PBRM1 and HIF expression in VHL disease-associated ccRCC series compared with a sporadic series. PBRM1 gene was screened by Sanger sequencing for 23 VHL-disease-associated ccRCC and 22 sporadic ccRCC cases. Immunohistochemical studies were performed to detect the expression of PBRM1, HIF1 and HIF2 for all cases. In VHL-associated tumors, 13.0% (n=3/23) had PBRM1 somatic mutations and 17.4% (n=4/23) had a loss of PBRM1 nuclear expression. In sporadic cases, 27.3% (n=6/22) showed PBRM1 somatic mutations and 45.5% (n=10/22) had a loss of PBRM1 nuclear expression. Loss of PBRM1 was associated with an advanced tumor stage. HIF1-positive tumors were observed more frequently in the VHL-associated ccRCC than in the sporadic series. Furthermore, in the VHL cohort, PBRM1 expression appeared to be associated more with HIF1 than with HIF2. Given that hereditary tumors tend to be less aggressive, these results would suggest that co-expression of PBRM1 and HIF1 may have a less oncogenic role in VHL-associated ccRCC.
Project description:Inactivation of the tumor suppressor von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene is a key event in hereditary and sporadic clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCC). The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is a fundamental regulator of cell growth and proliferation, and hyperactivation of mTOR signaling is a common finding in VHL-dependent ccRCC. Deregulation of mTOR signaling correlates with tumor progression and poor outcome in patients with ccRCC. Here, we report that the regulatory-associated protein of mTOR (RAPTOR) is strikingly repressed by VHL. VHL interacts with RAPTOR and increases RAPTOR degradation by ubiquitination, thereby inhibiting mTORC1 signaling. Consistent with hyperactivation of mTORC1 signaling in VHL-deficient ccRCC, we observed that loss of vhl-1 function in C. elegans increased mTORC1 activity, supporting an evolutionary conserved mechanism. Our work reveals important new mechanistic insight into deregulation of mTORC1 signaling in ccRCC and links VHL directly to the control of RAPTOR/mTORC1. This may represent a novel mechanism whereby loss of VHL affects organ integrity and tumor behavior.
Project description:Why different species are predisposed to different tumor spectra is not well understood. In particular, whether the physical location of tumor suppressor genes relative to one another influences tumor predisposition is unknown. Renal cancer presents a unique opportunity to explore this question. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) of clear-cell type (ccRCC), the most common type, begins with an intragenic mutation in the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene and loss of 3p (where VHL is located). Chromosome 3p harbors several additional tumor suppressor genes, including BRCA1-associated protein-1 (BAP1). In the mouse, Vhl is on a different chromosome than Bap1. Thus, whereas loss of 3p in humans simultaneously deletes one copy of BAP1, loss of heterozygosity in the corresponding Vhl region in the mouse would not affect Bap1. To test the role of BAP1 in ccRCC development, we generated mice deficient for either Vhl or Vhl together with one allele of Bap1 in nephron progenitor cells. Six2-Cre;Vhl(F/F);Bap1(F/+) mice developed ccRCC, but Six2-Cre;Vhl(F/F) mice did not. Kidneys from Six2-Cre;Vhl(F/F);Bap1(F/+) mice resembled kidneys from humans with VHL syndrome, containing multiple lesions spanning from benign cysts to cystic and solid RCC. Although the tumors were small, they showed nuclear atypia and exhibited features of human ccRCC. These results provide an explanation for why VHL heterozygous humans, but not mice, develop ccRCC. They also explain why a mouse model of ccRCC has been lacking. More broadly, our data suggest that differences in tumor predisposition across species may be explained, at least in part, by differences in the location of two-hit tumor suppressor genes across the genome.