JOURNAL ARTICLE

Endothelin-1 promotes cell survival in renal cell carcinoma through the ET(A) receptor

Beth R Pflug, Hong Zheng, Michael S Udan, Jason M D'Antonio, Fray F Marshall, James D Brooks, Joel B Nelson
Cancer Letters 2007 February 8, 246 (1-2): 139-48
16581180
Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent vasoconstrictor that has been shown to significantly impact many benign and malignant tissues by signaling through its two cognate receptors: ET(A) and ET(B). As ET-1 has a role in both normal and diseased kidney, we initiated studies to investigate endothelin axis expression and function in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In this study, relatively high levels of ET-1 were detected in all six human RCC cell lines investigated. RT-PCR and Southern analyses revealed that all six RCC cell lines expressed ET(A) receptor mRNA, while 3/6 cell lines also expressed ET(B) mRNA. High affinity ET-1 binding occurred in all but one RCC cell line and quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated ET(A) mRNA expression in all six cell lines. Methylation of the ET(B) promoter (EDNRB) in 4/6 RCC cell lines was observed, suggesting a mechanism for repressed ET(B) expression. Moreover, methylation occurred in 32/48 of renal tumors and in 27/55 of histologically normal adjacent tissue samples studied, while no methylation was evident in any normal tissue isolated from nephrectomy or at autopsy. Functionally, ET-1 significantly inhibited paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in RCC cells through binding ET(A) with the ET-1 signaling mediated via the PI3-kinase/Akt pathway. Collectively, these data support the therapeutic targeting of the ET(A) receptor as a novel treatment strategy for RCC.

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