Expression of the Sonic Hedgehog pathway components in clear cell renal cell carcinoma
- Anna Kotulak‑Chrzaszcz
- Jakub Klacz
- Marcin Matuszewski
- Zbigniew Kmiec
- Piotr M. Wierzbicki
Published online on: September 25, 2019
Copyright: © Kotulak‑Chrzaszcz et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
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Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common and the most aggressive histopathological subtype of kidney cancer, with patients exhibiting high mortality rates for metastatic tumors. The Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) pathway serves a crucial role in embryonic development. The abnormal activity of SHH signaling is observed in a broad range of malignancies. However, its role in ccRCC is still undetermined. The aim of the present study was to assess the expression of the SHH pathway genes in ccRCC. Neoplastic and morphologically unchanged kidney tissues were obtained during radical nephrectomy from 37 patients with ccRCC. The SHH, PTCH1, SMO and GLI1 mRNA levels were assessed using the reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR. Western blot analysis was used to assess the full‑length and C‑terminal SHH protein level. The mRNA levels of SHH, SMO and GLI1 were approximately 2‑, 2,5‑ and 7‑fold higher in ccRCC tissue compared with control kidney tissue, respectively. Correlational analysis between the mRNA levels of SHH pathway genes and patients' clinicopathological factors revealed decreased and increased mRNA levels of PTCH1 and SMO respectively, in tumor samples derived from older patients (age >62). Furthermore, the level of C‑terminal SHH protein in ccRCC samples was significantly lower in a group of males compared with females. No correlation was exhibited between molecular data and patient survival. Western blot analysis indicated a ~3‑fold higher level of SHH full‑length protein, and a 4‑fold lower level of the C‑terminal SHH protein domain, in ccRCC tumor tissues compared with normal kidney samples. The current study indicated an involvement of the SHH pathway in ccRCC development.