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Mutations of the von Hippel–Lindau gene confer increased susceptibility to natural killer cells of clear-cell renal cell carcinoma

Abstract : The tumor suppressor gene von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) is involved in the development of sporadic clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC). VHL interferes with angiogenesis and also controls cell adhesion and invasion. Therapies that target VHL-controlled genes are currently being evaluated in RCC patients. RCC is a immunogenic tumor and treatment with interleukin-2 (IL2) or interferon (IFN)-a results in regression in some patients. We used two renal tumor cell lines (RCC6 and RCC4) carrying VHL loss-of-function mutations to investigate the role of mutant VHL in susceptibility to natural killer (NK) cellmediated lysis. The RCC6 and RCC4 cell lines were transfected with the wild-type gene to restore the function of VHL. The presence of the gene in RCC cells downregulated hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1a and subsequently decreased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production. Relative to control transfectants and parental cells, pVHL-transfected cell lines activated resting and IL2-activated NK cells less strongly, as assessed by IFNc secretion, NK degranulation and cell lysis. NKG2A, a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-Ispecific inhibitory NK receptor, controls the lysis of tumor targets. We show that HLA-I expression in RCC-pVHL cells is stronger than that in parental and controls cells, although the expression of activating receptor NK ligands remains unchanged. Blocking NKG2A/HLA-I interactions substantially increased lysis of RCC-pVHL, but had little effect on the lysis of VHL-mutated RCC cell lines. In addition, in response to IFNa, the exponential growth of RCC-pVHL was inhibited more than that of RCC-pE cells, indicating that VHL mutations may be involved in IFNa resistance. These results indicate that a decreased expression of HLA-I molecules in mutated VHL renal tumor cells sensitizes them to NK-mediated lysis. These results suggest that combined immunotherapy with antiangiogenic drugs may be beneficial for patients with mutated VHL.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 20, 2021 - 1:54:16 PM
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A Perier, G Fregni, S Wittnebel, S Gad, M Allard, et al.. Mutations of the von Hippel–Lindau gene confer increased susceptibility to natural killer cells of clear-cell renal cell carcinoma. Oncogene, Nature Publishing Group, 2011, 30 (23), pp.2622-2632. ⟨10.1038/onc.2010.638⟩. ⟨inserm-03349262⟩

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