Metabolic shift toward aerobic glycolysis is a fundamental element contributing to the development and progression of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). We and others previously observed enhanced glycolysis and diminished tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle activity in ccRCC tissue. Here, by integrated gene expression and metabolomic analyses of 36 matched pairs of tumor and adjacent normal tissues, we showed that expression of Sentrin/SUMO-specific protease 1 (SENP1) is positively associated with glycolysis levels in ccRCC. Moreover, SENP1 knockdown in RCC4/ VHL cells downregulated expression of key glycolytic enzymes under normoxic and hypoxic conditions and inhibited cell proliferation under hypoxic conditions, possibly due to ineffective deSUMOylation and stablization of Hif-1α related to the SENP-1 deficiency. Finally, SENP1 expression correlated positively with tumor pathological grade and was an indicator of poor overall survival and advanced tumor progression in ccRCC. Altered VHL gene function is found in 60–90% ccRCC cases of ccRCC, but therapies targeting VHL-related signaling pathways have been ineffective, spurring exploration of alternative pathological signaling events. Our results provide a possible mechanistic explanation for the role of SENP1 in the initiation and development of ccRCC with normal VHL activity, and identifies SENP1 as a potential treatment target for the disease.
Dong, B., Gao, Y., Kang, X., Gao, H., Zhang, J., Guo, H., … Huang, Y. (2016). SENP1 promotes proliferation of clear cell renal cell carcinoma through activation of glycolysis. Oncotarget, 7(49). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12606