The epigenetic landscape of clear-cell renal cell carcinoma

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Katarzyna Kluzek
Hans A Bluyssen
Joanna Wesoly


clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), tumor suppressor gene (TSG), epigenetic modification, epigenetic biomarkers


Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common subtype of all kidney tumors. During the last few years, epigenetics has emerged as an important mechanism in ccRCC pathogenesis. Recent reports, involving large-scale methylation and sequencing analyses, have identified genes frequently inactivated by promoter methylation and recurrent mutations in genes encoding chromatin regulatory proteins. Interestingly, three of detected genes (PBRM1, SETD2 and BAP1) are located on chromosome 3p, near the VHL gene, inactivated in over 80% ccRCC cases. This suggests that 3p alterations are an essential part of ccRCC pathogenesis. Moreover, most of the proteins encoded by these genes cooperate in histone H3 modifications. The aim of this review is to summarize the latest discoveries shedding light on deregulation of chromatin machinery in ccRCC. Newly described ccRCC-specific epigenetic alterations could potentially serve as novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and become an object of novel therapeutic strategies.

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