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Are Patients With Renal Carcinoma at Increased Risk of Coronavirus Infections?

By: Joshua Swore
Posted: Monday, March 15, 2021

Coronavirus receptors may play an essential role in cellular immunity in patients with renal carcinoma. Targeting these receptors in conjunction with immune-modulating drugs may prove to be a novel way to treat these patients, suggests a recent article published in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences.

“As our current knowledge of pathogenic mechanisms will improve, it may help us in designing focused therapeutic approaches,” said author Ashlesh Patil, MD, and colleagues of the India Institute of Medical Sciences, India.

The researchers used a bioinformatics approach to analyze coronavirus receptors' expression profiles in 8,587 normal tissues and 9,736 tumors. They found protein expression levels similar to their RNA counterparts, which were enriched in the kidney among other healthy tissues. The authors noted that within renal tumors, an increase in expression of ACE2, DPP4, ANPEP, and ENPEP receptors is considered important in the pathogenesis of coronavirus.

The investigators further analyzed the expression of coronavirus receptors within different types of renal tumors. Increased expression of these receptors was found in renal clear cell carcinoma, whereas decreased expression was found in renal papillary carcinoma and renal chromophobe. The authors further noted a negative Spearman’s correlation of ACE2 and DPP4, with increasing stages of clear cell and papillary carcinomas.

An analysis of the association of receptors with the immune-cell signature of renal carcinoma revealed that ACE2, DPP4, ANPEP, and ENPEP receptors were highly expressed in wound healing, interferon-ƴ–dominant, inflammatory, lymphocyte-depleted, and transforming growth factor-β–dominant immune cell subtypes. TMPRSS2 receptor, however, was associated with a higher expression in immunologically quiet immune cells. An analysis of the immune-infiltration levels with the expression of coronavirus receptors revealed varying results. The correlation of infiltration and receptor expression was highly dependent on both the immune cell type and the renal tumor.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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