HAVCR/KIM-1 activates the IL-6/STAT-3 pathway in clear cell renal cell carcinoma and determines tumor progression and patient outcome.

Cuadros T, Trilla E, Sarró E, Vilà MR, Vilardell J, de Torres I, Salcedo M, López-Hellin J, Sánchez A, Ramón y Cajal S, Itarte E, Morote J, Meseguer A.
Cancer Res. 2014 Mar 1;74(5):1416-28.

Abstract

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the third most prevalent urological cancer, claims more than 100,000 lives/year worldwide. The clear cell variant (ccRCC) is the most common and aggressive subtype of this disease. While commonly asymptomatic, more than 30% of ccRCC are diagnosed when already metastatic, resulting in a 95% mortality rate. Notably, nearly one-third of organ-confined cancers treated by nephrectomy develop metastasis during follow-up care. At present, diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers to screen, diagnose, and monitor renal cancers are clearly needed. The gene encoding the cell surface molecule HAVCR1/KIM-1 is a suggested susceptibility gene for ccRCC and ectodomain shedding of this molecule may be a predictive biomarker of tumor progression. Microarray analysis of 769-P ccRCC-derived cells where HAVCR/KIM-1 levels have been upregulated or silenced revealed relevant HAVCR/KIM-1-related targets, some of which were further analyzed in a cohort of 98 ccRCC patients with 100 month follow-up. We found that HAVCR/KIM-1 activates the IL-6/STAT-3/HIF-1A axis in ccRCC-derived cell lines, which depends on HAVCR/KIM-1 shedding. Moreover, we found that pSTAT-3 S727 levels represented an independent prognostic factor for ccRCC patients. Our results suggest that HAVCR/KIM-1 upregulation in tumors might represent a novel mechanism to activate tumor growth and angiogenesis and that pSTAT-3 S727 is an independent prognostic factor for ccRCC.