Introduction and Objectives: Although versican (VCAN) is known to promote tumor progression and enhance metastasis of several types of cancers, its role in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) remains unknown. Interestingly, a recent report showed that VCAN is an important target of chromosomal 5q gain, one of the most prevalent genetic abnormalities in ccRCC cases. In the present study, we investigated whether VCAN expression is associated with the pathogenesis of ccRCC.

Methods: VCAN expression was analyzed in 3 RCC and normal kidney cell lines, as well as 84 matched ccRCC and normal renal tissues. We also performed various functional analyses of growth and progression properties using VCAN-depleted ccRCC cells. Microarray analysis was then employed to investigate the target genes of the pathway involved in ccRCC tumorigenesis and development.

Results: There are 4 isoforms of VCAN containing the N-terminal globular (G1 domain) and C-terminal globular (G3 domain) domains, each of which was found to be over-expressed in the ccRCC samples as compared to the controls. Higher VCAN expression was significantly correlated with metastasis (p<0.001) and worse 5-year overall survival after a radical nephrectomy (p=0.014). In vitro, VCAN knockdown by siRNA in Caki-2 and 786-O cells significantly decreased cell proliferation and increased apoptosis, and was also found to be associated with alteration of several TNF signaling-related genes, such as TNF-α, BID, and BAK. Furthermore, VCAN depletion markedly decreased cell migration and invasion associated with reduced MMP7 and CXCR4 levels.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that VCAN promotes ccRCC tumorigenesis and metastasis, showing it to be an attractive novel target for diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic strategies for affected patients.

Note: This abstract was not presented at the meeting.

Citation Format: Yozo Mitsui, Taku Kato, Shigekatsu Maekawa, Yutaka Hashimoto, Marisa Shiina, Mitsuho Imai Sumida, Ryan Kenji Wong, Soichiro Yamamura, Varahram Shahryari, Shahana Majid, Sharanjot Saini, Guoren Deng, Rajvir Dahiya, Koichi Nakajima, Yuichiro Tanaka. VCAN promotes clear cell renal cell carcinoma tumor progression and metastasis, and predicts poor prognosis [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 5749. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-5749