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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Overexpression of the heme oxygenase gene in renal cell carcinoma.

Heme oxygenase (HO) activity has been implicated in the regulation of renal function and cell growth in normal and disease states. Expression of HO genes has been shown to regulate important hemoprotein(s) such as cytochrome P450. In the present study, HO activity was measured in samples of human adenocarcinoma, juxtatumor, and normal renal tissues. The samples were histologically examined to verify the malignant and normal nature. HO activity was 4-fold higher in the adenocarcinoma than in either normal or juxtatumor tissues. We designed a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method to assess the presence of HO-1 and HO-2 mRNA in biopsy samples of various human renal tissues. Total RNA from renal samples was reverse transcribed and amplified simultaneously by PCR using specific primers for HO-1 and HO-2. Results show that both HO-1 and HO-2 mRNAs were expressed in all renal tissues examined and that HO-1 appeared to be amplified more than HO-2. Northern blot analysis revealed that HO-1 mRNA was elevated by several-fold in adenocarcinoma compared with juxtatumor or normal tissues. In contrast, no differences in HO-2 mRNA levels were observed using either RT-PCR or Northern blot. Cytochrome P450 arachidonic acid epoxygenase and omega-hydroxylase activities were markedly reduced in the tumor tissues, whereas, in the juxtatumor tissue, cytochrome P450 omega-hydroxylase activity was significantly increased. Northern blot analysis using cytochrome P450 cDNA probe 4A2 cDNA for the omega-hydroxylase gene family revealed that mRNA levels for omega-hydroxylase transcripts were significantly decreased in the adenocarcinoma compared with juxtatumor. The decrease in cytochrome P450 4All mRNA levels correlated with a decrease in the arachidonic acid omega-hydroxylation metabolite, 20-HETE. The production of 20-HETE was significantly higher in juxtatumor in agreement with omega-hydroxylase mRNA. Higher levels of HO-1 may be a contributing factor for the undetectable levels of cytochrome P450 arachidonic acid metabolites, 20-HETE, in the adenocarcinoma. Our results suggest that increased generation of mitogenic activities by omega-hydroxylase and 20-HETE in the juxtatumor may be a contributing factor in the development and growth of neoplastic tissues, and the induction of HO in the tumor tissue may be an attempt to limit oxidative injury caused by the cytochrome P450 metabolites and other oxidative stress.[1]


  1. Overexpression of the heme oxygenase gene in renal cell carcinoma. Goodman, A.I., Choudhury, M., da Silva, J.L., Schwartzman, M.L., Abraham, N.G. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. (1997) [Pubmed]
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