Interplay between pVHL and mTORC1 pathways in clear-cell renal cell carcinoma

Blanka Kucejova, Samuel Peña-Llopis, Toshinari Yamasaki, Sharanya Sivanand, Tram Anh T Tran, Shane Alexander, Nicholas C. Wolff, Yair Lotan, Xian-Jin Xie, Wareef Kabbani, Payal Kapur, James B Brugarolas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) is implicated in cell growth control and is extensively regulated. We previously reported that in response to hypoxia, mTORC1 is inhibited by the protein regulated in development and DNA damage response 1 (REDD1). REDD1 is upregulated by hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1, and forced REDD1 expression is sufficient to inhibit mTORC1. REDD1-induced mTORC1 inhibition is dependent on a protein complex formed by the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)1 and 2 (TSC2) proteins. In clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene is frequently inactivated leading to constitutive activation of HIF-2 and/or HIF-1, which may be expected to upregulate REDD1 and inhibit mTORC1. However, mTORC1 is frequently activated in ccRCC, and mTORC1 inhibitors are effective against this tumor type; a paradox herein examined. REDD1 was upregulated in VHL-deficient ccRCC by in silico microarray analyses, as well as by quantitative real-time PCR, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Vhl disruption in a mouse model was sufficient to induce Redd1. Using ccRCC-derived cell lines, we show that REDD1 upregulation in tumors is VHL dependent and that both HIF-1 and HIF-2 are, in a cell-type-dependent manner, recruited to, and essential for, REDD1 induction. Interestingly, whereas mTORC1 is responsive to REDD1 in some tumors, strategies have evolved in others, such as mutations disrupting TSC1, to subvert mTORC1 inhibition by REDD1. Sequencing analyses of 77 ccRCCs for mutations in TSC1, TSC2, and REDD1, using PTEN as a reference, implicate the TSC1 gene, and possibly REDD1, as tumor suppressors in sporadic ccRCC. Understanding how ccRCCs become refractory to REDD1-induced mTORC1 inhibition should shed light into the development of ccRCC and may aid in patient selection for molecular-targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1265
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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