Renal cell carcinomas (RCC) smaller than 7-cm are heterogeneous and exhibit metastatic potential in approximately 15% of cases. Although large-scale characterization of mutations in clear cell RCC (ccRCC), the most common RCC subtype, has been established, the genetic alterations related to ≤7-cm ccRCCs undergoing synchronous metastasis are poorly understood. To discover biomarkers that can be used to estimate the risk of synchronous metastasis in these ccRCC patients, we performed whole exome sequencing on the formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples of 10 ccRCC patients with ≤7-cm tumors and synchronous metastasis and expanded our study using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) ccRCC dataset (n = 201). Recurrent mutations were selected according to functional prediction and statistical significance. Mutations in three candidate genes, RELN (1 out of 10), FOXC2 (1 out of 10), and CLIP4 (2 out of 10) were found in expanded analysis using a TCGA cohort. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated target gene knockdown (FOXC2 and CLIP4) and overexpression (RELN) assays showed that FOXC2 and CLIP4 significantly increased cell migration and viability in ccRCCs. Our study demonstrated that FOXC2 and CLIP4 activity correlates to the presence of ≤7-cm ccRCCs with synchronous metastasis and may be potential molecular predictors of synchronous metastasis of ≤7-cm ccRCCs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a research grant from the Korean Prostate Research Foundation (grant number: 4-2014-0021; to WSH), the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) (grant number: HI13C2163; to DHB), the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and future Planning (grant number: NRF-2015R1A2A2A03006577; to JHL), and the NRF (grant number: 2013R1A1A1005025; to KSH).
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