Research Papers:

FOXC2 and CLIP4 : a potential biomarker for synchronous metastasis of ≤7-cm clear cell renal cell carcinomas

Jinwoo Ahn _, Kyung Seok Han, Jun Hyeok Heo, Duhee Bang, You Hyun Kang, Hyun A. Jin, Sung Joon Hong, Ji Hyun Lee and Won Sik Ham

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:51423-51434. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9842

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Jinwoo Ahn1,*, Kyung Seok Han2,*, Jun Hyeok Heo3, Duhee Bang1, You Hyun Kang3,4, Hyun A. Jin3,4, Sung Joon Hong3, Ji Hyun Lee5, Won Sik Ham3

1Department of Chemistry, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

2Department of Urology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do, Korea

3Department of Urology and Urological Science Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

4Brain Korea 21 PLUS Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

5Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Won Sik Ham, email: [email protected]

Ji Hyun Lee, email: [email protected],kr

Keywords: clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), whole exome sequencing, metastasis, FOXC2, CLIP4

Received: February 10, 2016    Accepted: May 20, 2016    Published: June 06, 2016


Renal cell carcinomas (RCC) smaller than 7-cm are heterogeneous and exhibit metastatic potential in approximately 15% of cases. Although large-scale characterization of mutations in clear cell RCC (ccRCC), the most common RCC subtype, has been established, the genetic alterations related to ≤7-cm ccRCCs undergoing synchronous metastasis are poorly understood. To discover biomarkers that can be used to estimate the risk of synchronous metastasis in these ccRCC patients, we performed whole exome sequencing on the formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples of 10 ccRCC patients with ≤7-cm tumors and synchronous metastasis and expanded our study using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) ccRCC dataset (n = 201). Recurrent mutations were selected according to functional prediction and statistical significance. Mutations in three candidate genes, RELN (1 out of 10), FOXC2 (1 out of 10), and CLIP4 (2 out of 10) were found in expanded analysis using a TCGA cohort. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated target gene knockdown (FOXC2 and CLIP4) and overexpression (RELN) assays showed that FOXC2 and CLIP4 significantly increased cell migration and viability in ccRCCs. Our study demonstrated that FOXC2 and CLIP4 activity correlates to the presence of ≤7-cm ccRCCs with synchronous metastasis and may be potential molecular predictors of synchronous metastasis of ≤7-cm ccRCCs.

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