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SLC22A12 Gene Expression: Prognostic and Diagnostic in Clear Cell Kidney Cancer?

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2021

According to research presented in Frontiers in Oncology, low expression of the gene solute carrier family 22 member 12 (SLC22A12) may prove to be a prognostic and diagnostic indicator for clear cell renal cell carcinoma as well as a potential therapeutic target. The study analyzed RNA sequencing and survival data for the kidney renal cell carcinoma group in the Cancer Genome Atlas database to determine whether cellular homeostasis may affect the development of renal cell carcinoma.

“SLC22A12 downregulation may impact cellular homeostasis, altering the survival of the tumor cells,” noted Xiaoping Zhang, MD, PhD, of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, and colleagues.

The study employed univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses to identify 19 differentially expressed genes that were specific to kidney function. The expression of one of those genes, SLC22A12, was found to be correlated with several survival and treatment factors. Low SLC22A12 expression was associated with higher pathologic stage and poorer survival outcomes. Overall, tumoral tissue had lower SLC22A12 expression than did healthy tissue. SLC22A12 was confirmed through immunohistochemical staining and immunoblotting to be downregulated in clear cell disease. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves suggested significant diagnostic value for clear cell disease when SLC22A12 expression is low.

Overexpression of SLC22A12 in vitro was found to induce PI3K/Akt pathway regulation, which seemed to hamper the growth and deployment of renal cancer cells. When SLC22A12 was removed, cancer cells resumed proliferation. Metabolism, cell cycle, and signaling pathways for tumors were all associated with SLC22A12 expression. In general, SLC22A12 was determined to be directly involved in the transportation of several compounds, ions, and hormones as well as the organization of structures outside the cell.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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