VHL; von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor, E3 ubiquitin protein ligase (3p25.3)

Gene Summary

Gene:VHL; von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor, E3 ubiquitin protein ligase
Aliases: RCA1, VHL1, pVHL, HRCA1
Summary:Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome (VHL) is a dominantly inherited familial cancer syndrome predisposing to a variety of malignant and benign tumors. A germline mutation of this gene is the basis of familial inheritance of VHL syndrome. The protein encoded by this gene is a component of the protein complex that includes elongin B, elongin C, and cullin-2, and possesses ubiquitin ligase E3 activity. This protein is involved in the ubiquitination and degradation of hypoxia-inducible-factor (HIF), which is a transcription factor that plays a central role in the regulation of gene expression by oxygen. RNA polymerase II subunit POLR2G/RPB7 is also reported to be a target of this protein. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been observed. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:von Hippel-Lindau disease tumor suppressor
Updated:14 December, 2014


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (25)


What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
- Hypoxia-Inducible Factor in the Cardiovascular System BIOCARTA
- VEGF, Hypoxia, and Angiogenesis BIOCARTA
- Ubiquitin mediated proteolysis KEGG
Data from KEGG and BioCarta [BIOCARTA terms] via CGAP

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1989-2014)
Graph generated 14 December 2014 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 14 December, 2014 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Notable (7)

Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Kidney CancerVHL and Kidney Cancer View Publications666
Pheochromocytoma and ParagangliomaVHL and Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma View Publications291
Adrenocortical CancerVon Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein and Adrenocortical Cancer View Publications92
Head and Neck CancersVHL and Head and Neck Cancers View Publications73
-Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein and Hemangioblastoma View Publications65
Bladder CancerVHL and Bladder Cancer View Publications13
von Hippel-Lindau DiseaseVon Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein and von Hippel-Lindau Disease View Publications226

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Related Links

Latest Publications: VHL (cancer-related)

Bachurska S, Staykov D, Belovezhdov V, et al.
Bilateral pheochromocytoma/intra-adrenal paraganglioma in von Hippel-Lindau patient causing acute myocardial infarction.
Pol J Pathol. 2014; 65(1):78-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
A 26-year-old male presented to the emergency department complaining of obstipation, severe headache and abdominal pain. An autopsy revealed bilateral pheochromocytoma and acute myocardial infarction. The tumor cells showed positive immunoreactivity of both chromogranin A and synaptophysin and were negative for adrenocortical markers such as SF-1, c17, scc, 3-HSD as well as SDHB, suggesting a germline mutation of the gene SDHB or SDHD. Molecular genetic analyses did not show a mutation in these two genes, but a mutation in the VHL gene, in exon 3: VHL c.499C>T. This is a missense mutation and causes an amino acid change (Arg167Trp).

Xi H, Gao YH, Han DY, et al.
Hypoxia inducible factor-1α suppresses Peroxiredoxin 3 expression to promote proliferation of CCRCC cells.
FEBS Lett. 2014; 588(18):3390-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Peroxiredoxin 3 (Prx3) is a mitochondrial member of the antioxidant family of thioredoxin peroxidases that uses mitochondrial thioredoxin 2 as a source of reducing equivalents to scavenge hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Here, we report that the protein levels of Prx3 are significantly reduced in VHL-deficient clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC). Furthermore, stabilization of HIF-1α protein, caused either by VHL deficiency under normoxia, or by hypoxia, significantly reduced Prx3 expression. Luciferase-reporter and chromatin-immunoprecipitation assays indicated that HIF-1α binds to the hypoxia-responsive elements of PRDX3 promoter and represses its transcription. Finally, shRNA-based assays suggested that Prx3 downregulation is required for the HIF-1α-dependent proliferation of CCRCC cells. Taken together, our results shed new light onto the mechanism of HIF-1α-dependent proliferation in CCRCC cells.

Related: HIF1A Kidney Cancer

Li B, Qiu B, Lee DS, et al.
Fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase opposes renal carcinoma progression.
Nature. 2014; 513(7517):251-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 11/03/2015 Related Publications
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the most common form of kidney cancer, is characterized by elevated glycogen levels and fat deposition. These consistent metabolic alterations are associated with normoxic stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) secondary to von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) mutations that occur in over 90% of ccRCC tumours. However, kidney-specific VHL deletion in mice fails to elicit ccRCC-specific metabolic phenotypes and tumour formation, suggesting that additional mechanisms are essential. Recent large-scale sequencing analyses revealed the loss of several chromatin remodelling enzymes in a subset of ccRCC (these included polybromo-1, SET domain containing 2 and BRCA1-associated protein-1, among others), indicating that epigenetic perturbations are probably important contributors to the natural history of this disease. Here we used an integrative approach comprising pan-metabolomic profiling and metabolic gene set analysis and determined that the gluconeogenic enzyme fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase 1 (FBP1) is uniformly depleted in over six hundred ccRCC tumours examined. Notably, the human FBP1 locus resides on chromosome 9q22, the loss of which is associated with poor prognosis for ccRCC patients. Our data further indicate that FBP1 inhibits ccRCC progression through two distinct mechanisms. First, FBP1 antagonizes glycolytic flux in renal tubular epithelial cells, the presumptive ccRCC cell of origin, thereby inhibiting a potential Warburg effect. Second, in pVHL (the protein encoded by the VHL gene)-deficient ccRCC cells, FBP1 restrains cell proliferation, glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway in a catalytic-activity-independent manner, by inhibiting nuclear HIF function via direct interaction with the HIF inhibitory domain. This unique dual function of the FBP1 protein explains its ubiquitous loss in ccRCC, distinguishing FBP1 from previously identified tumour suppressors that are not consistently mutated in all tumours.

Related: Kidney Cancer

Alves MR, Carneiro FC, Lavorato-Rocha AM, et al.
Mutational status of VHL gene and its clinical importance in renal clear cell carcinoma.
Virchows Arch. 2014; 465(3):321-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
The most common subtype of renal cell carcinoma is the clear cell type (ccRCC), accounting for 75 % of cases. Inactivation of VHL gene is thought to be an early event in ccRCC carcinogenesis. Our intention was to assess whether VHL mutational status might provide useful predictive or prognostic information in patients with ccRCC. VHL messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was analyzed by in situ hybridization and its protein by immunohistochemistry on a tissue microarray containing samples from 148 cases. This was validated by qRT-PCR on 62 cases, for which RNA was available. The mutation status was assessed in 91 cases by Sanger sequencing. VHL was found mutated in 57 % of cases, with missense mutations in 26 %, nonsense in 5 %, splice site in 13 %, deletions in 39 %, indels in 8 %, duplications in 8 %, and insertions in 2 % of the cases. The prevalence of mutations by exon was the following: exon 1, 47 %; exon 2, 27 %; and exon 3, 13 %. VHL protein was expressed in a high number of cases (80 %), but significant correlations were not found between protein expression, clinical data, and survival. Importantly, of the 91 samples evaluated by sequencing, 45 were mutated, and 87 % of those were strongly positive. We found 32 novel mutations in the VHL gene in ccRCC. The presence of mutations was not concordant with mRNA or protein expression. Nonsense mutations of the VHL gene appear to be related with poorer prognosis and survival.

Related: Kidney Cancer

Parsanejad M, Zhang Y, Qu D, et al.
Regulation of the VHL/HIF-1 pathway by DJ-1.
J Neurosci. 2014; 34(23):8043-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
DJ-1 (PARK7) is a gene linked to autosomal recessive Parkinson disease (PD). We showed previously that DJ-1 loss sensitizes neurons in models of PD and stroke. However, the biochemical mechanisms underlying this protective role are not completely clear. Here, we identify Von Hippel Lindau (VHL) protein as a critical DJ-1-interacting protein. We provide evidence that DJ-1 negatively regulates VHL ubiquitination activity of the α-subunit of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1α) by inhibiting HIF-VHL interaction. Consistent with this observation, DJ-1 deficiency leads to lowered HIF-1α levels in models of both hypoxia and oxidative stress, two stresses known to stabilize HIF-1α. We also demonstrate that HIF-1α accumulation rescues DJ-1-deficient neurons against 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium-induced toxicity. Interestingly, lymphoblast cells extracted from DJ-1-related PD patients show impaired HIF-1α stabilization when compared with normal individuals, indicating that the DJ-1-VHL link may also be relevant to a human context. Together, our findings delineate a model by which DJ-1 mediates neuronal survival by regulation of the VHL-HIF-1α pathway.

Related: HIF1A Neuroblastoma Signal Transduction

Zhang C, Yang AI, Vasconcelos L, et al.
Von hippel-lindau disease associated pulmonary carcinoid with cranial metastasis.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(8):2633-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/08/2015 Related Publications
CONTEXT: Carcinoids have rarely been described in von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease.
OBJECTIVE: We describe the first reported case of a patient with VHL who developed a pulmonary carcinoid that subsequently metastasized to a pre-existent cranial hemangioblastoma.
RESULTS: Histological and immunohistochemical features of the metastatic lesion were similar to the primary carcinoid. Both lesions demonstrated heterozygous VHL gene deletions with fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: This case provides direct molecular genetic evidence of an association between VHL and carcinoids.

Related: Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumours Lung Cancer

Dagher J, Dugay F, Rioux-Leclercq N, et al.
Cytoplasmic PAR-3 protein expression is associated with adverse prognostic factors in clear cell renal cell carcinoma and independently impacts survival.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(8):1639-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs) represent 70% of renal cancers, and several clinical and histolopathological factors are implicated in their prognosis. We recently demonstrated that the overexpression of PAR-3 protein encoded by the PARD3 gene could be implicated in renal oncogenesis. The object of this work was to study the association of intratumoral PAR-3 expression with known prognostic parameters and clinical outcome. In this aim, PAR-3 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in ccRCC tumors of 101 patients from 2003 to 2005. The immunostaining of PAR-3 was scored either as membranous (mPAR-3) or as both membranous and cytoplasmic (cPAR-3). Cytoplasmic PAR-3 was significantly associated with worse histopathological and clinical prognostic factors: Fuhrman grades 3 and 4, tumor necrosis, sarcomatoid component, adrenal invasion, renal and hilar fat invasion, eosinophilic component, a noninactivated VHL gene, higher tumor grade, lymph node involvement, metastasis, and worse clinical Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and S classification scores. After multivariate analysis, 2 parameters were independently associated with cPAR-3: necrosis and eosinophilic components. In addition, cPAR-3 patients had shorter overall and progression-free survivals independently from strong prognostic validated factors like metastases. A cytoplasmic expression of PAR-3 is therefore implicated in worse clinical and pathological cancer features in ccRCC and could be useful to identify patients with high-risk tumors.

Related: Kidney Cancer

Brugarolas J
Molecular genetics of clear-cell renal cell carcinoma.
J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(18):1968-76 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/06/2015 Related Publications
Renal cell carcinoma of clear-cell type (ccRCC) is an enigmatic tumor type, characterized by frequent inactivation of the VHL gene (infrequently mutated in other tumor types), responsiveness to angiogenesis inhibitors, and resistance to both chemotherapy and conventional radiation therapy. ccRCC tumors exhibit substantial mutation heterogeneity. Recent studies using massively parallel sequencing technologies have implicated several novel driver genes. In VHL wild-type tumors, mutations were discovered in TCEB1, which encodes Elongin C, a protein that binds to VHL and is required for its function. Several additional tumor suppressor genes have been identified near the VHL gene, within a region that is frequently deleted in ccRCC on chromosome 3p: SETD2, BAP1, and PBRM1. Mutations in BAP1 and PBRM1 are largely mutually exclusive and are associated with different tumor biology and patient outcomes. In addition, the mTORC1 pathway is deregulated by mutations in MTOR, TSC1, PIK3CA, and PTEN in approximately 20% of ccRCCs. Mutations in TSC1, and possibly other genes, may predict for sensitivity to mTORC1 inhibitors. These discoveries provide insight into ccRCC development and set the foundation for the first molecular genetic classification of the disease, paving the way for subtype-specific therapies.

Related: Kidney Cancer BAP1 gene

de Vivar Chevez AR, Finke J, Bukowski R
The role of inflammation in kidney cancer.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014; 816:197-234 [PubMed] Related Publications
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) constitutes more than 90 % of primary kidney tumors with the development of metastatic disease in the lung, bone, liver, and brain. Clear-cell RCC (CCRCC) is the most common histologic form of sporadic kidney cancer where the majority of tumors have inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor-suppressor gene resulting in the accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) leading to dysregulation of cell growth and angiogenesis. Understanding of the genetic changes in RCC and the downstream events have led to the development of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) that target HIF-regulated proteins which currently represents front-line therapy for metastatic disease although resistance develops in most patients overtime. Despite the fact that RCC is an immunogenic tumor, there is mounting evidence that immune cells and inflammatory pathways can enhance tumor growth and immune escape. However, recent studies are beginning to uncover the mechanisms of immune escape in RCC, and the role inflammatory immune cells and cytokines play is this process. These new findings have led to renewed interest in the use of immunotherapy for the treatment of this disease that includes strategies to regulate inflammatory responses. Here, we will discuss the different inflammatory signaling pathways (e.g., VHL, hypoxia, TNF-α, STAT, and TGF-β) and the downstream transcription factors, cytokines, and chemokines involved in tumor development, and disease progression. This will include assessment of the role inflammatory molecules (e.g., pVHL, TGFb, IL6, select chemokines/chemokine receptors) play in promoting cell transformation, survival, proliferation of tumor cells, and metastasis derived from in vitro and in vivo studies. Included is a section on how select inflammatory cells (TAM, MDSC, and neutrophils) promote tumor evasion of immune cells. We also provide examples of molecules/cells that correlate negatively (CXCL12, CXCR4, and MMP, neutrophils, and MDSC) and positively (TH1 cells, IP-10, and MIG) with tumor progression and survival. Finally, there is a discussion of different inhibitors of inflammation that may be useful in the treatment of RCC.

Related: Kidney Cancer Signal Transduction

Gregg JL, Turner RM, Chang G, et al.
NADPH oxidase NOX4 supports renal tumorigenesis by promoting the expression and nuclear accumulation of HIF2α.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(13):3501-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Most sporadically occurring renal tumors include a functional loss of the tumor suppressor von Hippel Lindau (VHL). Development of VHL-deficient renal cell carcinoma (RCC) relies upon activation of the hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF2α), a master transcriptional regulator of genes that drive diverse processes, including angiogenesis, proliferation, and anaerobic metabolism. In determining the critical functions for HIF2α expression in RCC cells, the NADPH oxidase NOX4 has been identified, but the pathogenic contributions of NOX4 to RCC have not been evaluated directly. Here, we report that NOX4 silencing in VHL-deficient RCC cells abrogates cell branching, invasion, colony formation, and growth in a murine xenograft model RCC. These alterations were phenocopied by treatment of the superoxide scavenger, TEMPOL, or by overexpression of manganese superoxide dismutase or catalase. Notably, NOX4 silencing or superoxide scavenging was sufficient to block nuclear accumulation of HIF2α in RCC cells. Our results offer direct evidence that NOX4 is critical for renal tumorigenesis and they show how NOX4 suppression and VHL re-expression in VHL-deficient RCC cells are genetically synonymous, supporting development of therapeutic regimens aimed at NOX4 blockade.

Related: Kidney Cancer

Casey R, Garrahy A, Tuthill A, et al.
Universal genetic screening uncovers a novel presentation of an SDHAF2 mutation.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(7):E1392-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Hereditary pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (PC/PGL) accounts for up to 60% of previously considered sporadic tumors. Guidelines suggest that phenotype should guide genetic testing. Next-generation sequencing technology can simultaneously sequence 9 of the 18 known susceptibility genes in a timely, cost-efficient manner.
OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to confirm that universal screening is superior to targeted testing in patients with histologically confirmed PC and PGL.
METHODS: In two tertiary referral hospitals in Ireland, NGS was carried out on all histologically confirmed cases of PC/PGL diagnosed between 2004 and 2013. The following susceptibility genes were sequenced: VHL, RET, SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, TMEM127, and MAX. A multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis was performed in VHL, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, and SDHAF2 genes to detect deletions and duplications.
RESULTS: A total of 31 patients were tested, 31% (n = 10) of whom were found to have a genetic mutation. Of those patients with a positive genotype, phenotype predicted genotype in only 50% (n = 5). Significant genetic mutations that would have been missed in our cohort by phenotypic evaluation alone include a mutation in TMEM127, two mutations in SDHAF2, and two mutations in RET. Target testing would have identified three of the latter mutations based on age criteria. However, 20% of patients (n = 2) would not have satisfied any criteria for targeted testing including one patient with a novel presentation of an SDHAF2 mutation.
CONCLUSION: This study supports the value of universal genetic screening for all patients with PC/PGL.

Related: Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma

Welander J, Andreasson A, Juhlin CC, et al.
Rare germline mutations identified by targeted next-generation sequencing of susceptibility genes in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014; 99(7):E1352-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas have a highly diverse genetic background, with a third of the cases carrying a germline mutation in 1 of 14 identified genes.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate next-generation sequencing for more efficient genetic testing of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma and to establish germline and somatic mutation frequencies for all known susceptibility genes.
DESIGN: A targeted next-generation sequencing approach on an Illumina MiSeq instrument was used for a mutation analysis in 86 unselected pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma tumor samples. The study included the genes EGLN1, EPAS1, KIF1Bβ, MAX, MEN1, NF1, RET, SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, TMEM127, and VHL. RESULTS were verified in tumor and constitutional DNA with Sanger sequencing.
RESULTS: In all cases with clinical syndromes or known germline mutations, a mutation was detected in the expected gene. Among 68 nonfamilial tumors, 32 mutations were identified in 28 of the samples (41%), including germline mutations in EGLN1, KIF1Bβ, SDHA, SDHB, and TMEM127 and somatic mutations in EPAS1, KIF1Bβ, MAX, NF1, RET, and VHL, including one double monoallelic EPAS1 mutation.
CONCLUSIONS: Targeted next-generation sequencing proved to be fast and cost effective for the genetic analysis of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. More than half of the tumors harbored mutations in the investigated genes. Notably, 7% of the apparently sporadic cases carried germline mutations, highlighting the importance of comprehensive genetic testing. KIF1Bβ, which previously has not been investigated in a large cohort, appears to be an equally important tumor suppressor as MAX and TMEM127 and could be considered for genetic testing of these patients.

Related: Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma

Zhang KL, Zhou X, Han L, et al.
MicroRNA-566 activates EGFR signaling and its inhibition sensitizes glioblastoma cells to nimotuzumab.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:63 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is amplified in 40% of human glioblastomas. However, most glioblastoma patients respond poorly to anti-EGFR therapy. MicroRNAs can function as either oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, and have been shown to play an important role in cancer cell proliferation, invasion and apoptosis. Whether microRNAs can impact the therapeutic effects of EGFR inhibitors in glioblastoma is unknown.
METHODS: miR-566 expression levels were detected in glioma cell lines, using real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR). Luciferase reporter assays and Western blots were used to validate VHL as a direct target gene of miR-566. Cell proliferation, invasion, cell cycle distribution and apoptosis were also examined to confirm whether miR-566 inhibition could sensitize anti-EGFR therapy.
RESULTS: In this study, we demonstrated that miR-566 is up-regulated in human glioma cell lines and inhibition of miR-566 decreased the activity of the EGFR pathway. Lentiviral mediated inhibition of miR-566 in glioblastoma cell lines significantly inhibited cell proliferation and invasion and led to cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase. In addition, we identified von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) as a novel functional target of miR-566. VHL regulates the formation of the β-catenin/hypoxia-inducible factors-1α complex under miR-566 regulation.
CONCLUSIONS: miR-566 activated EGFR signaling and its inhibition sensitized glioblastoma cells to anti-EGFR therapy.

Related: Signal Transduction EGFR

Layfield LJ, Ehya H, Filie AC, et al.
Utilization of ancillary studies in the cytologic diagnosis of biliary and pancreatic lesions: the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology guidelines for pancreatobiliary cytology.
Diagn Cytopathol. 2014; 42(4):351-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology has developed a set of guidelines for pancreatobiliary cytology including indications for endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration, terminology and nomenclature of pancreatobiliary disease, ancillary testing, and post-biopsy management. All documents are based on the expertise of the authors, a review of the literature, discussions of the draft document at several national and international meetings, and synthesis of selected online comments of the draft document. This document presents the results of these discussions regarding the use of ancillary testing in the cytologic diagnosis of biliary and pancreatic lesions. Currently, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) appears to be the most clinically relevant ancillary technique for cytology of bile duct strictures. The addition of FISH analysis to routine cytologic evaluation appears to yield the highest sensitivity without loss in specificity. Loss of immunohistochemical staining for the protein product of the SMAD4 gene and positive staining for mesothelin support a diagnosis of ductal adenocarcinoma. Immunohistochemical markers for endocrine and exocrine differentiation are sufficient for a diagnosis of endocrine and acinar tumors. Nuclear staining for beta-catenin supports a diagnosis of solid-pseudopapilary neoplasm. Cyst fluid analysis for amylase and carcinoembryonic antigen aids in the preoperative classification of pancreatic cysts. Many gene mutations (KRAS, GNAS, VHL, RNF43, and CTNNB1) may be of aid in the diagnosis of cystic neoplasms. Other ancillary techniques do not appear to improve diagnostic sensitivity sufficiently to justify their increased costs.

Related: Extra-Hepatic Bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) Cancer of the Pancreas Pancreatic Cancer

Twardowski PW, Mack PC, Lara PN
Papillary renal cell carcinoma: current progress and future directions.
Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2014; 12(2):74-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Papillary renal cell carcinoma (pRCC) represents the second most common histologic variant of kidney cancer. It exhibits a different molecular signature than clear-cell carcinoma and is typically not associated with mutations in the VHL (von Hippel-Lindau) tumor suppressor gene. pRCC is less responsive to modern drugs introduced in the management of kidney cancer in the past decade. In this article, the heredity and biology of 2 main variants of pRCC are outlined. New targets that are being explored in the treatment of this disease are discussed, with particular emphasis on inhibition of mesenchymal epithelial transition (MET) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathways. We discuss preclinical data providing rationale for the combination of MET and EGFR inhibitors and review recently completed and ongoing clinical trials that attempt to expand our therapeutic options for this important subset of kidney cancer.

Related: Kidney Cancer MET gene Signal Transduction EGFR

Robinson CM, Ohh M
The multifaceted von Hippel-Lindau tumour suppressor protein.
FEBS Lett. 2014; 588(16):2704-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Loss of von Hippel-Lindau protein (pVHL) is known to contribute to the initiation and progression of tumours associated with VHL disease as well as certain sporadic tumours including clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). The VHL gene was first identified and cloned over 20 years ago and our understanding of its functions and effects has significantly increased since then. The best-known function of pVHL is its role in promoting the degradation of hypoxia-inducible factor α subunit (HIFα) as part of an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. HIF stabilisation and transcriptional activation are also associated with various epigenetic alterations, indicating a potential role for VHL loss with changes in the epigenome. This review will highlight current knowledge regarding pVHL as well as discuss potentially novel roles of pVHL and how these may impact on cancer progression.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Lonser RR, Butman JA, Huntoon K, et al.
Prospective natural history study of central nervous system hemangioblastomas in von Hippel-Lindau disease.
J Neurosurg. 2014; 120(5):1055-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECT: The tumors most frequently associated with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease are hemangioblastomas. While they are associated with significant neurological impairment and mortality, their natural history and optimal management have not been fully defined.
METHODS: Patients with VHL were enrolled in a prospective study designed to define the natural history of CNS hemangioblastomas. In the present analysis, serial imaging, laboratory, genetic, and clinical data were evaluated in those with at least 2 years of follow-up data.
RESULTS: At study entrance 225 patients (111 males, 114 females) harbored 1921 CNS hemangioblastomas in the supratentorial compartment (21 tumors [1%]), cerebellum (865 [45%]), brainstem (129 [7%]), spinal cord (689 [36%]), cauda equina (212 [11%]), and nerve roots (5 [0.3%]; follow-up 15,819 hemangioblastoma-years). Increased tumor burden was associated with partial deletions in the VHL gene (p = 0.005) and male sex (p = 0.002). Hemangioblastoma development (median 0.3 new tumors/year) was associated with younger age (p < 0.0001) and more tumors at study entrance (p < 0.0001). While 1278 hemangioblastomas (51%) did not grow, 1227 hemangioblastomas (49%) grew in a saltatory (886 [72%]), linear (76 [6%]), or exponential (264 [22%]) pattern. Faster tumor growth was associated with male sex (p = 0.001), symptomatic tumors (p < 0.0001), and tumors associated with cysts (p < 0.0001). Location-dependent tumor size was the primary predictor of eventual symptom formation (159 symptomatic tumors [6.3%]; area under the curve > 0.9).
CONCLUSIONS: Central nervous system hemangioblastoma burden in VHL is associated with partial germline deletions and male sex. Unpredictable growth of hemangioblastomas compromises assessment of nonsurgical therapies. The judicious treatment of symptom-producing hemangioblastomas, while avoiding unnecessary treatment of asymptomatic tumors that may not progress, can provide clinical stability.

Related: Brain and Spinal Cord Tumours

Ricketts CJ, Linehan WM
Intratumoral heterogeneity in kidney cancer.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(3):214-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC) is characterized by mutation of the VHL gene and loss of a segment of chromosome 3. A new study using multi-region exome sequencing has identified substantial intratumoral heterogeneity within large primary CCRCCs, which has profound implications for understanding tumor evolution and for developing effective therapies.

Related: Kidney Cancer

Snell CE, Turley H, McIntyre A, et al.
Proline-hydroxylated hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) upregulation in human tumours.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e88955 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
The stabilisation of HIF-α is central to the transcriptional response of animals to hypoxia, regulating the expression of hundreds of genes including those involved in angiogenesis, metabolism and metastasis. HIF-α is degraded under normoxic conditions by proline hydroxylation, which allows for recognition and ubiquitination by the von-Hippel-Lindau (VHL) E3 ligase complex. The aim of our study was to investigate the posttranslational modification of HIF-1α in tumours, to assess whether there are additional mechanisms besides reduced hydroxylation leading to stability. To this end we optimised antibodies against the proline-hydroxylated forms of HIF-1α for use in formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) immunohistochemistry to assess effects in tumour cells in vivo. We found that HIF-1α proline-hydroxylated at both VHL binding sites (Pro402 and Pro564), was present in hypoxic regions of a wide range of tumours, tumour xenografts and in moderately hypoxic cells in vitro. Staining for hydroxylated HIF-1α can identify a subset of breast cancer patients with poorer prognosis and may be a better marker than total HIF-1α levels. The expression of unhydroxylated HIF-1α positively correlates with VHL in breast cancer suggesting that VHL may be rate-limiting for HIF degradation. Our conclusions are that the degradation of proline-hydroxylated HIF-1α may be rate-limited in tumours and therefore provides new insights into mechanisms of HIF upregulation. Persistence of proline-hydroxylated HIF-1α in perinecrotic areas suggests there is adequate oxygen to support prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD) activity and proline-hydroxylated HIF-1α may be the predominant form associated with the poorer prognosis that higher levels of HIF-1α confer.

Related: Breast Cancer HIF1A Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Wittström E, Nordling M, Andréasson S
Genotype-phenotype correlations, and retinal function and structure in von Hippel-Lindau disease.
Ophthalmic Genet. 2014; 35(2):91-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To investigate genotype-phenotype correlation and to analyze functional and structural changes in the retina of patients with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease.
METHODS: Thirteen patients from four families (A, B, C and D) with known VHL disease and known mutations in the VHL gene were examined. All patients underwent clinical examination and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Full-field electroretinography (full-field ERG) was performed in twelve patients.
RESULTS: Family A, with deletion of exon 3 in the VHL gene, and family B, with the missense mutation p.R79P, exhibited type 1 VHL characterized by the absence of pheochromocytoma and a high incidence of central nervous system hemangioblastomas. One member of family B exhibited Goldenhar syndrome. A novel missense mutation (p.L198P) was identified in the VHL gene in the patient from family C. This p.L198P mutation caused a phenotype with early onset of a neuroendocrine tumor of the pancreas, bilateral pheochromocytomas, and optic nerve hemangioblastoma. Full-field ERG showed significantly prolonged implicit times of the b-wave and maximal combined a-wave in VHL patients, compared to controls. Examination of the retinal structure in all patients with VHL, using OCT, showed a significant decrease in retinal thickness in VHL patients without ocular hemangioblastomas, compared to controls.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support previously established genotype-phenotype correlations. However, we here describe an unusual phenotype with a novel missense mutation, p.L198P, and report the finding that VHL disease can be associated with Goldenhar syndrome. Electrophysiological and structural findings suggest that VHL disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease of the retina.

Related: Kidney Cancer

Gatto F, Nookaew I, Nielsen J
Chromosome 3p loss of heterozygosity is associated with a unique metabolic network in clear cell renal carcinoma.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(9):E866-75 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
Several common oncogenic pathways have been implicated in the emergence of renowned metabolic features in cancer, which in turn are deemed essential for cancer proliferation and survival. However, the extent to which different cancers coordinate their metabolism to meet these requirements is largely unexplored. Here we show that even in the heterogeneity of metabolic regulation a distinct signature encompassed most cancers. On the other hand, clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) strongly deviated in terms of metabolic gene expression changes, showing widespread down-regulation. We observed a metabolic shift that associates differential regulation of enzymes in one-carbon metabolism with high tumor stage and poor clinical outcome. A significant yet limited set of metabolic genes that explained the partial divergence of ccRCC metabolism correlated with loss of von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor (VHL) and a potential activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1. Further network-dependent analyses revealed unique defects in nucleotide, one-carbon, and glycerophospholipid metabolism at the transcript and protein level, which contrasts findings in other tumors. Notably, this behavior is recapitulated by recurrent loss of heterozygosity in multiple metabolic genes adjacent to VHL. This study therefore shows how loss of heterozygosity, hallmarked by VHL deletion in ccRCC, may uniquely shape tumor metabolism.

Related: Chromosome 3

Chen L, Zhang K, Shi Z, et al.
A lentivirus-mediated miR-23b sponge diminishes the malignant phenotype of glioma cells in vitro and in vivo.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(4):1573-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
microRNA (miRNA) sponges are RNA molecules with repeated miRNA binding sequences that can sequester miRNAs from their endogenous target mRNAs, and a stably expressed miRNA sponge is particularly valuable for long-term loss-of-function studies in vitro and in vivo. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common primary brain tumor in adults and is characterized by extraordinarily angiogenic, invasive and migratory capabilities, hallmark features that make the disease incurable. Nonetheless, improvements in clinical treatment and a better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms have been achieved within the past few decades. miR-23b has previously been found to function as a tumor oncogene in GBM. In the present study, we employed an microRNA sponge that was forcibly expressed using a lentiviral vector to knock down the expression of miR-23b in vitro and in vivo and assessed the pleiotropic effects on glioma angiogenesis, invasion and migration. We demonstrated that the inhibition of miR-23b in glioma cell lines and orthotopic tumor mouse models resulted in a reduction in tumor malignancy, through the downregulation of HIF-1α, β-catenin, MMP2, MMP9, VEGF and ZEB1 and increased expression of VHL and E-cadherin. Therefore, we suggest that this miR-23b sponge could be developed into a promising anticancer therapy either alone or in combination with current targeted therapies.

Hell MP, Thoma CR, Fankhauser N, et al.
miR-28-5p promotes chromosomal instability in VHL-associated cancers by inhibiting Mad2 translation.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(9):2432-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chromosomal instability enables tumor development, enabled in part by aberrant expression of the mitotic checkpoint protein Mad2. Here we identify a novel regulatory mechanism for Mad2 expression involving miR-28-5p-mediated inhibition of Mad2 translation, and we demonstrate that this mechanism is triggered by inactivation of the tumor suppressor VHL, the most common event in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). In VHL-positive cancer cells, enhanced expression of miR-28-5p diminished Mad2 levels and promoted checkpoint weakness and chromosomal instability. Conversely, in checkpoint-deficient VHL-negative renal carcinoma cells, inhibition of miR-28-5p function restored Mad2 levels, mitotic checkpoint proficiency, and chromosomal stability. Notably, chromosome missegregation errors and aneuploidy that were produced in a mouse model of acute renal injury (as a result of kidney-specific ablation of pVHL function) were reverted in vivo also by genetic inhibition of miR-28-5p. Finally, bioinformatic analyses in human ccRCC associated loss of VHL with increased miR-28-5p expression and chromosomal instability. Together, our results defined miR-28-5p as a critical regulator of Mad2 translation and mitotic checkpoint function. By identifying a potential mediator of chromosomal instability in VHL-associated cancers, our work also suggests a novel microRNA-based therapeutic strategy to target aneuploid cells in VHL-associated cancers.

Related: Kidney Cancer

Tanaka T, Torigoe T, Hirohashi Y, et al.
Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-independent expression mechanism and novel function of HIF prolyl hydroxylase-3 in renal cell carcinoma.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2014; 140(3):503-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We previously found that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) prolyl hydroxylase-3 (PHD3) was frequently overexpressed in renal cell carcinomas (RCCs), unlike in normal tissues, and therefore, we studied the mechanism and role of PHD3 expression in RCC.
METHODS: The von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)-gene-mutant RCC cell lines SMKT-R2 and SMKT-R3 and wild-type VHL cell lines Caki-1 and ACHN were used. Associations of the expression of PHD3 with HIF-α proteins and signal transduction pathways were evaluated under normoxic conditions. The effect of PHD3 on cell proliferation was also examined by small interference RNA and cDNA transfection. Moreover, the prognostic impact of PHD3 expression in clear cell RCC (CCRCC) was evaluated using primary cancer tissues.
RESULTS: In SMKT-R2 and SMKT-R3, HIF-α proteins were expressed and PHD3 was highly expressed. On the other hand, ACHN had low expression of HIF-α proteins and PHD3. However, Caki-1 had high expression of PHD3 even though there was no distinct expression of HIF-α proteins. PHD3 expression was inhibited by blockade of Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), but not by HIF-1α and HIF-2α double knockdown. In addition, PHD3 knockdown resulted in the promotion of cell proliferation in SMKT-R2, SMKT-R3 and Caki-1. On the other hand, forced expression of PHD3 reduced cell proliferation in ACHN. In immunohistochemistry, PHD3 expression was a significant factor for better recurrence-free survival in patients with CCRCC.
CONCLUSIONS: PHD3 expression can be induced by the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt/mTOR pathway in RCC independently of HIF proteins. Furthermore, PHD3 has an antiproliferative function independent of HIF protein status in RCC, indicating a novel expression mechanism and function of PHD3.

Related: Kidney Cancer AKT1 Signal Transduction

Crona J, Nordling M, Maharjan R, et al.
Integrative genetic characterization and phenotype correlations in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma tumours.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e86756 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: About 60% of Pheochromocytoma (PCC) and Paraganglioma (PGL) patients have either germline or somatic mutations in one of the 12 proposed disease causing genes; SDHA, SDHB, SDHC, SDHD, SDHAF2, VHL, EPAS1, RET, NF1, TMEM127, MAX and H-RAS. Selective screening for germline mutations is routinely performed in clinical management of these diseases. Testing for somatic alterations is not performed on a regular basis because of limitations in interpreting the results.
AIM: The purpose of the study was to investigate genetic events and phenotype correlations in a large cohort of PCC and PGL tumours.
METHODS: A total of 101 tumours from 89 patients with PCC and PGL were re-sequenced for a panel of 10 disease causing genes using automated Sanger sequencing. Selected samples were analysed with Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification and/or SNParray.
RESULTS: Pathogenic genetic variants were found in tumours from 33 individual patients (37%), 14 (16%) were discovered in constitutional DNA and 16 (18%) were confirmed as somatic. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was observed in 1/1 SDHB, 11/11 VHL and 3/3 NF1-associated tumours. In patients with somatic mutations there were no recurrences in contrast to carriers of germline mutations (P = 0.022). SDHx/VHL/EPAS1 associated cases had higher norepinephrine output (P = 0.03) and lower epinephrine output (P<0.001) compared to RET/NF1/H-RAS cases.
CONCLUSION: Somatic mutations are frequent events in PCC and PGL tumours. Tumour genotype may be further investigated as prognostic factors in these diseases. Growing evidence suggest that analysis of tumour DNA could have an impact on the management of these patients.

Related: Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma

Hes O, de Souza TG, Pivovarcikova K, et al.
Distinctive renal cell tumor simulating atrophic kidney with 2 types of microcalcifications. Report of 3 cases.
Ann Diagn Pathol. 2014; 18(2):82-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report 3 cases of primary renal cell tumor simulating atrophic kidney with distinct gross, morphologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular genetic features. The tumors were retrieved out of more than 17 000 renal tumors from the Plzen Tumor Registry. Tissues for light microscopy had been fixed, embedded, and stained with hematoxylin and eosin using routine procedures. The tumors were further analyzed using immunohistochemistry, array comparative genomic hybridization, and human androgen receptor. Analyses of VHL gene and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) 3p were also performed. The patients were 2 women and 1 man, with ages ranging from 29 to 35 years (mean, 31.3 years). Grossly, the neoplasms were encapsulated and round with largest diameter of 3.5 cm (mean, 3.2 cm). Follow-up available for all patients ranged from 2 to 14 years (mean, 8 years). No aggressive behavior was noted. Histologically, akin to atrophic (postpyelonephritic) kidney parenchyma, the tumors were composed of follicles of varying sizes that were filled by eosinophilic secretion. Rare areas contained collapsed follicles. Each follicle was endowed with a small capillary. The stroma was loose, inconspicuous, and focally fibrotic. Two types of calcifications were noted: typical psammoma bodies and amorphous dark-blue stained calcified deposits. Immunohistochemically, tumors were strongly positive for cytokeratins (OSCAR), CD10, and vimentin, with weak immunopositivity for CAM5.2 and AE1-AE3. WT1 and cathepsin K were weakly to moderately focally to diffusely positive. Tumors were negative for cytokeratin 20, carbonic anhydrase IX, parvalbumin, HMB45, TTF1, TFE3, chromogranin A, thyroglobulin, PAX8, and ALK. Only 1 case was suitable for molecular genetic analyses. No mutations were found in the VHL gene; no methylation of VHL promoter was noted. No numerical aberrations were found by array comparative genomic hybridization analysis. LOH for chromosome 3p was not detected. Analysis of clonality (human androgen receptor) revealed the monoclonal nature of the tumor. We describe an unknown tumor of the kidney that (1) resembles renal atrophic kidney or nodular goiter of thyroidal gland; (2) contains a leiomyomatous capsule and 2 types of calcifications; (3) lacks mitoses, atypias, necroses, and hemorrhages and nearly lack Ki-67 positivity; and (4) so far showed benign biological behavior.

Related: CGH Kidney Cancer AR: androgen receptor

Lessi F, Mazzanti CM, Tomei S, et al.
VHL and HIF-1α: gene variations and prognosis in early-stage clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(3):840 [PubMed] Related Publications
Von Hipple-Lindau gene (VHL) inactivation represents the most frequent abnormality in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) expression is regulated by O2 level. In normal O2 conditions, VHL binds HIF-1α and allows HIF-1α proteasomal degradation. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) has been found located in the oxygen-dependent degradation domain at codon 582 (C1772T, rs11549465, Pro582Ser). In hypoxia, VHL/HIF-1α interaction is abolished and HIF-1α activates target genes in the nucleus. This study analyzes the impact of genetic alterations and protein expression of VHL and the C1772T SNP of HIF-1α gene (HIF-1α) on prognosis in early-stage ccRCC (pT1a, pT1b, and pT2). Mutational analysis of the entire VHL sequence and the genotyping of HIF-1α C1772T SNP were performed together with VHL promoter methylation analysis and loss of heterozygosis (LOH) analysis at (3p25) locus. Data obtained were correlated with VHL and HIF-1α protein expression and with tumor-specific survival (TSS). VHL mutations, methylation status, and LOH were detected in 51, 11, and 12% of cases, respectively. Our results support the association between biallelic alterations and/or VHL silencing with a worse TSS. Moreover, we found a significant association between the HIF-1α C1772C genotype and a worse TSS. The same association was found when testing the presence of HIF-1α protein in the nucleus. Our results highlight the role of VHL/HIF-1α pathway in RCC and support the molecular heterogeneity of early-stage ccRCC. More important, we show the involvement of HIF-1α C1772T SNP in ccRCC progression.

Related: HIF1A Kidney Cancer

Blanchet EM, Gabriel S, Martucci V, et al.
18F-FDG PET/CT as a predictor of hereditary head and neck paragangliomas.
Eur J Clin Invest. 2014; 44(3):325-32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hereditary head and neck paragangliomas (HNPGLs) account for at least 35% of all HNPGLs, most commonly due to germline mutations in SDHx susceptibility genes. Several studies about sympathetic paragangliomas have shown that (18)F-FDG PET/CT was not only able to detect and localize tumours, but also to characterize tumours ((18)F-FDG uptake being linked to SDHx mutations). However, the data concerning (18)F-FDG uptake specifically in HNPGLs have not been addressed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between (18)F-FDG uptake and the SDHx mutation status in HNPGL patients.
METHODS: (18)F-FDG PET/CT from sixty HNPGL patients were evaluated. For all lesions, we measured the maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax), and the uptake ratio defined as HNPGL-SUVmax over pulmonary artery trunk SUVmean (SUVratio). Tumour sizes were assessed on radiological studies.
RESULTS: Sixty patients (53.3% with SDHx mutations) were evaluated for a total of 106 HNPGLs. HNPGLs-SUVmax and SUVratio were highly dispersed (1.2-30.5 and 1.0-17.0, respectively). The HNPGL (18)F-FDG uptake was significantly higher in SDHx versus sporadic tumours on both univariate and multivariate analysis (P = 0.002). We developed two models for calculating the probability of a germline SDHx mutation. The first one, based on a per-lesion analysis, had an accuracy of 75.5%. The second model, based on a per-patient analysis, had an accuracy of 80.0%.
CONCLUSIONS: (18)F-FDG uptake in HNPGL is strongly dependent on patient genotype. Thus, the degree of (18)F-FDG uptake in these tumours can be used clinically to help identify patients in whom SDHx mutations should be suspected.

Related: Head and Neck Cancers Head and Neck Cancers - Molecular Biology

Graziani R, Mautone S, Vigo M, et al.
Spectrum of magnetic resonance imaging findings in pancreatic and other abdominal manifestations of Von Hippel-Lindau disease in a series of 23 patients: a pictorial review.
JOP. 2014; 15(1):1-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Von Hippel Lindau disease is a rare autosomal dominantly inherited multisystem disorder characterized by development of benign and malignant tumors. The abdominal manifestation of the syndrome are protean. Magnetic resonance plays an important role in identification of abdominal abnormalities and follow-up of lesions.
OBJECTIVE: To describe magnetic resonance imaging findings and patterns of pancreatic and other principal abdominal manifestations in a series of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease patients and to review literature.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed abdominal magnetic resonance studies performed in 23 patients (10 males, 13 females) diagnosed of VHL.
RESULTS: In all examined patients abdominal involvement was present. The pancreatic imaging findings detected were: unilocular cystic lesions (6/23: 26.1%); serous cystadenomas (11/23: 47.8%), including diffuse lesions (8/23: 34.8%); solid neuroendocrine tumors (8/23: 34.8%); cystic neuroendocrine tumors (1/23: 4.3%). The renal findings detected were: simple renal cysts (18/23: 78.3%); complex renal cysts (13/23: 56.5%), including benign lesions (10/23: 43.5%) and malignant lesions (3/23: 13.0%); renal carcinomas (11/23: 47.8%) and 5 of these (45.5%) were multiple and bilateral. Five patients (21.7%) presented pheochromocytoma (4 of these were bilateral; 80.0%) and 1 patient (4.3%) presented cystadenoma of the epididymis.
CONCLUSIONS: In VHL disease patients, magnetic resonance imaging plays an essential role in the identification of pancreatic and other abdominal lesions, in their follow-up, in the screening of asymptomatic gene carriers, and in their long-term surveillance.

Related: Genitourinary (Male) Cancers Kidney Cancer Cancer of the Pancreas Pancreatic Cancer

Ellinghaus P, Heisler I, Unterschemmann K, et al.
BAY 87-2243, a highly potent and selective inhibitor of hypoxia-induced gene activation has antitumor activities by inhibition of mitochondrial complex I.
Cancer Med. 2013; 2(5):611-24 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
The activation of the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) plays an essential role in tumor development, tumor progression, and resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy. In order to identify compounds targeting the HIF pathway, a small molecule library was screened using a luciferase-driven HIF-1 reporter cell line under hypoxia. The high-throughput screening led to the identification of a class of aminoalkyl-substituted compounds that inhibited hypoxia-induced HIF-1 target gene expression in human lung cancer cell lines at low nanomolar concentrations. Lead structure BAY 87-2243 was found to inhibit HIF-1α and HIF-2α protein accumulation under hypoxic conditions in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell line H460 but had no effect on HIF-1α protein levels induced by the hypoxia mimetics desferrioxamine or cobalt chloride. BAY 87-2243 had no effect on HIF target gene expression levels in RCC4 cells lacking Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) activity nor did the compound affect the activity of HIF prolyl hydroxylase-2. Antitumor activity of BAY 87-2243, suppression of HIF-1α protein levels, and reduction of HIF-1 target gene expression in vivo were demonstrated in a H460 xenograft model. BAY 87-2243 did not inhibit cell proliferation under standard conditions. However under glucose depletion, a condition favoring mitochondrial ATP generation as energy source, BAY 87-2243 inhibited cell proliferation in the nanomolar range. Further experiments revealed that BAY 87-2243 inhibits mitochondrial complex I activity but has no effect on complex III activity. Interference with mitochondrial function to reduce hypoxia-induced HIF-1 activity in tumors might be an interesting therapeutic approach to overcome chemo- and radiotherapy-resistance of hypoxic tumors.

Related: Lung Cancer


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