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The von Hippel Lindau (VHL) tumour suppressor gene, VHL, plays a central role in development of sporadic conventional renal cell carcinomas (RCCs). Studying VHL function may, therefore, increase understanding of the pathogenesis of RCC and identify markers/therapeutic targets. Comparison of 2-DE protein profiles of VHL-defective RCC cells (UMRC2) transfected with control vector or wild-type VHL showed differences in 30 proteins, including several novel changes. One of the findings confirmed by Western blotting was up-regulation of the mitochondrial protein ubiquinol cytochrome c reductase complex core protein 2 following VHL transfection, a change that was also observed in two other cell line backgrounds. A marked decrease in expression of this and several other mitochondrial proteins was demonstrated in RCC tissues and using VHL-transfectants, several were shown to exhibit VHL-dependent regulation. Thus, VHL may contribute to the decreased mitochondrial function seen in RCC. A form of septin 2 down-regulated following VHL transfection was also identified. Septin 2 was up-regulated in 12/16 RCCs, while alteration of the form present was also observed in 1/3 tumours analysed. Thus, increased expression of septin 2 is a common event in RCC and protein modification may also alter septin 2 function in a subset of tumours.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





3880 - 3893


Blotting, Western, Carcinoma, Renal Cell, Cell Line, Tumor, Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Kidney Neoplasms, Mitochondria, Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases, Proteome, Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein