Proteomic identification of a role for the von Hippel Lindau tumour suppressor in changes in the expression of mitochondrial proteins and septin 2 in renal cell carcinoma.
Craven RA., Hanrahan S., Totty N., Harnden P., Stanley AJ., Maher ER., Harris AL., Trimble WS., Selby PJ., Banks RE.
The von Hippel Lindau (VHL) tumour suppressor gene, VHL, plays a central role in development of sporadic conventional renal cell carcinomas (RCCs). Studying VHL function may, therefore, increase understanding of the pathogenesis of RCC and identify markers/therapeutic targets. Comparison of 2-DE protein profiles of VHL-defective RCC cells (UMRC2) transfected with control vector or wild-type VHL showed differences in 30 proteins, including several novel changes. One of the findings confirmed by Western blotting was up-regulation of the mitochondrial protein ubiquinol cytochrome c reductase complex core protein 2 following VHL transfection, a change that was also observed in two other cell line backgrounds. A marked decrease in expression of this and several other mitochondrial proteins was demonstrated in RCC tissues and using VHL-transfectants, several were shown to exhibit VHL-dependent regulation. Thus, VHL may contribute to the decreased mitochondrial function seen in RCC. A form of septin 2 down-regulated following VHL transfection was also identified. Septin 2 was up-regulated in 12/16 RCCs, while alteration of the form present was also observed in 1/3 tumours analysed. Thus, increased expression of septin 2 is a common event in RCC and protein modification may also alter septin 2 function in a subset of tumours.