Functional significance of secreted Frizzled-related protein 1 in metastatic renal cell carcinomas

Sharanjot Saini, Jan Liu, Soichiro Yamamura, Shahana Majid, Kazumori Kawakami, Hiroshi Hirata, Rajvir Dahiya
Cancer Research 2009 September 1, 69 (17): 6815-22
The secreted Frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1) is a Wingless-type (Wnt) antagonist that has been associated with various malignancies, including renal cell carcinomas (RCC). However, the functional significance of SFRP1 has never been investigated in metastatic RCC. Here, we investigated the role of this molecule in kidney cancer progression and metastasis. Using Wnt pathway-focused cDNA expression profiling in normal renal, primary RCC, and metastatic RCC cell lines, we identified that SFRP1 is up-regulated in metastatic RCC. SFRP1 overexpression in metastatic RCC was confirmed by immunostaining in renal tissues. We explored the molecular mechanisms underlying SFRP1 up-regulation by analyzing DNA methylation and histone modification patterns on SFRP1 promoter. We found that this gene is unmethylated/hypomethylated and enriched in activating histone modifications in metastatic RCC. To understand the functional significance of SFRP1 overexpression in metastatic RCC with regard to tumorigenesis, we used a small interfering RNA-mediated approach to knockdown the gene and monitored cellular proliferation, apoptosis, and metastatic behavior. Proliferation was unaltered and apoptosis increased on attenuation of SFRP1 expression. Also, SFRP1 depletion decreased the invasive potential of the metastatic RCC cell line, suggesting that the overexpression of this Wnt antagonist may be related to invasiveness and metastatic behavior in RCC. We investigated the molecular basis of the role of SFRP1 in invasion and metastasis and found that matrix metalloproteinase MMP10 is regulated by SFRP1. In conclusion, our data suggest that SFRP1 plays a role in the metastatic potential of RCC. The present findings may be important in the design of treatment modalities for metastatic RCC.

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