Aberrations of a cell adhesion molecule CADM4 in renal clear cell carcinoma

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Renal clear cell carcinoma (RCCC) is the most frequent subpopulation of renal cell carcinoma and is derived from the proximal uriniferous tubules. We have previously reported that an actin-binding protein, 4.1B/DAL-1, is expressed in renal proximal tubules, whereas it is inactivated in 45% of RCCC by promoter methylation. In the lung and several epithelial tissues, 4.1B is shown to associate with a tumor suppressor protein, CADM1, belonging to the immunoglobulin-superfamily cell adhesion molecules. Here, we demonstrate by immunohistochemistry that another member of the CADM-family protein, CADM4, as well as 4.1B is expressed specifically in human proximal tubules, while CADM1 and 4.1N, another member of the 4.1 proteins, are expressed in the distal tubules. Immunoprecipitation analysis coupled with Western blotting revealed that CADM4 associated with 4.1B, while CADM1 associated with 4.1N in the lysate from normal human kidney, implicating that a cascade of CADM4 and 4.1B plays an important role in normal cell adhesion of the proximal tubules. On the other hand, CADM4 expression was lost or markedly reduced in 7 of 10 (70%) RCC cell lines and 28 of 40 (70%) surgically resected RCCC, including 10 of 16 (63%) tumors with T1a. CADM4 expression was more preferentially lost in RCCC with vascular infiltration (p= 0.04), suggesting that loss of CADM4 is involved in tumor invasion. Finally, introduction of CADM4 into an RCC cell line, 786-O, dramatically suppressed tumor formation in nude mice. These findings suggest that CADM4 is a novel tumor suppressor candidate in RCCC acting with its binding partner 4.1B.

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