Molecular Characterization and Putative Pathogenic Pathways of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex–Associated Renal Cell Carcinoma

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Tuberous sclerosis complex–associated renal cell carcinoma (TSC-RCC) has distinct clinical and histopathologic features and is considered a specific subtype of RCC. The genetic alterations of TSC1 or TSC2 are responsible for the development of TSC. In this study, we assessed the mTOR pathway activation and aimed to evaluate molecular characteristics and pathogenic pathways of TSC-RCC. Two cases of TSC-RCC, one from a 31-year-old female and the other from an 8-year-old male, were assessed. The mTOR pathway activation was determined by immunohistochemistry. The mutational spectrum of both TSC-RCCs was evaluated by whole exome sequencing (WES), and pathogenic pathways were analyzed. Differentially expressed genes were analyzed by NanoString Technologies nCounter platform. The mTOR pathway activation and the germline mutations of TSC2 were identified in both TSC-RCC cases. The WES revealed several cancer gene alterations. In Case 1, genetic alterations of CHD8, CRISPLD1, EPB41L4A, GNA11, NOTCH3, PBRM1, PTPRU, RGS12, SETBP1, SMARCA4, STMN1, and ZNRF3 were identified. In Case 2, genetic alterations of IWS1 and TSC2 were identified. Further, putative pathogenic pathways included chromatin remodeling, G protein–coupled receptor, Notch signaling, Wnt/β-catenin, PP2A and the microtubule dynamics pathway in Case 1, and mRNA processing and the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in Case 2. Additionally, the ALK and CRLF2 mRNA expression was upregulated and CDH1, MAP3K1, RUNX1, SETBP1, and TSC1 mRNA expression was downregulated in both TSC-RCCs. We present mTOR pathway activation and molecular characteristics with pathogenic pathways in TSC-RCCs, which will advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of TSC-RCC.




Park, J. H., Lee, C., Chang, M. S., Kim, K., Choi, S., Lee, H., … Moon, K. C. (2018). Molecular Characterization and Putative Pathogenic Pathways of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex–Associated Renal Cell Carcinoma. Translational Oncology, 11(4), 962–970.

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