Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene in brain linked to kidney cancer, researchers say

Date:
June 24, 2014
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
A gene known to control brain growth and development is heavily involved in promoting clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, researchers are reporting. The research reveals that the gene NPTX2, plays an essential role in this cancer type, which is resistant to common chemotherapy and has a five-year overall survival rate of less than 10 percent in patients with metastatic disease.

A gene known to control brain growth and development is heavily involved in promoting clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, researchers from Mayo Clinic in Florida are reporting.

Their study, published in Cancer Research, reveals that the gene NPTX2, plays an essential role in this cancer type, which is resistant to common chemotherapy and has a five-year overall survival rate of less than 10 percent in patients with metastatic disease.

The study not only shows that NPTX2 is active in kidney cancer, but is the first to reveal that the gene is over-expressed in any human cancer. The researchers are now looking whether NPTX2 may act in other cancers.

"We found that a gene known to play a role in the healthy brain is also the No. 1 gene associated with this most lethal of all urological cancers," says the study's senior investigator and molecular biologist John A. Copland, Ph.D.

"We don't know why NPTX2 is expressed in kidney cancer, but we now know what it is doing and how it contributes to cancer progression," he says. "We also have very promising ideas about how to attack the NPTX2 protein -- which may provide a much-needed new strategy to treat this kidney cancer."

Because the NPTX2 gene is not expressed in normal kidney tissue, a drug designed to target its protein would provide a highly focused treatment, Dr. Copland says. The team is working on several different approaches to an NPTX2 inhibitor.

Lead author Christina von Roemeling, a graduate student at Mayo Clinic in Florida, used genomic profiling of nearly 100 kidney cancer patient samples to identify genes that were either over-expressed or under-expressed as compared to patient matched normal kidney tissue samples. Von Roemeling and the research team then individually silenced each of the top 200 altered genes to see the effect on tumor growth. They found 31 genes were important to growth of the cancer or its ability to survive, and from this group they determined NPTX2 was a key gene to cancer viability.

Co-author Derek Radisky, Ph.D., a cancer biologist, then searched for prevalence of the NPTX2 gene in kidney cancer using nine public genomic datasets, representing thousands of patients, and found it to be the top aberrantly expressed gene associated with this cancer.

"Nobody ever looked for NPTX2 as a potential tumor promoter in kidney cancer or any other cancer, from what we can tell," says Dr. Radisky. "Before this study, the concept that it could even play a role in cancer had not been suspected."

The researchers also discovered that a receptor -- known as GluR4 -- that the NPTX2 protein usually targets in the brain is also found in the kidney cancer samples.

They found out how NPTX2 and GluR4 promote cancer growth and metastasis. In kidney cancer, the over-expressed NPTX2 protein is secreted from the cell and then attaches itself to GluR4 on the kidney cancer cell membrane.

NPTX2 causes multiple GluR4 proteins to unite and form a channel into the cell, which allows calcium to flow in. "Elevated calcium triggers multiple signaling pathways that promote cell doubling, survival and changes in the cell that promote cancer invasion and metastasis," says Dr. Copland.

Blocking the GluR4 channels caused the cancer cells to die, highlighting a possible avenue of therapy.

Investigators found that NPTX2 was expressed in all stages of kidney cancer, especially metastasis, which suggests it plays an important role in tumor development and progression. Its expression could be used as a biomarker test to ensure patients might benefit from an NPTX2 inhibitor, when one is developed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. The original article was written by Kevin Punsky. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christina a Von Roemeling, Derek C. Radisky, Laura a Marlow, Simon J Cooper, Stefan Kg Grebe, Panagiotis Z Anastasiadis, Han W Tun, and John A. Copland. Neuronal Pentraxin 2 is a regulator of clear cell renal cell carcinoma malignancy through activation of the AMPA-selective glutamate receptor 4. Cancer Research, June 2014 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0210

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Gene in brain linked to kidney cancer, researchers say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624105845.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2014, June 24). Gene in brain linked to kidney cancer, researchers say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624105845.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Gene in brain linked to kidney cancer, researchers say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140624105845.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins