Expression of retinoic acid receptor β in human renal cell carcinomas correlates with sensitivity to the antiproliferative effects of 13-cis-retinoic acid
Carcinoma, Renal Cell
Receptors, Retinoic Acid
The differentiation and growth suppressive effects of retinoic acid are mediated through retinoic acid nuclear receptors (RARs and RXRs), which are ligand-activated transcription factors. Recent data suggest that both altered and regulated expression of RARs are linked to retinoic acid response in a cell context-dependent manner. This study examined the antiproliferative effects of 13-cis-retinoic acid (cRA) on 12 renal cancer cell lines and correlated these findings with the basal and induced expression of RAR-alpha, -beta and -gamma. Eleven of 12 renal cancers that were either resistant to or only minimally inhibited by cRA did not basally express RAR-beta as determined by Northern blot analysis. In these cells, cRA treatment did not induce RAR-beta expression. In contrast, 1 of 12 cell lines (SK-RC-06) was >90% inhibited by cRA and basally expressed RARbeta. Furthermore, RAR-beta mRNA in SK-RC-06 cells was up-regulated by cRA treatment. Amplification of cDNA using PCR and RAR-beta isoform-specific primer pairs revealed that only SK-RC-06 cells expressed the RAR-beta1 isoform. Expression of RAR-alpha transcripts was abundant in all 12 cell lines examined, whereas low levels of RAR-gamma transcripts were detectable in 6 of 10 renal cancers. Expression of RAR-alpha and RAR-gamma was not affected by cRA. These data showing that the majority of renal cancer cell lines are resistant to cRA suggest that: (a) resistance to the antiproliferative action of cRA correlates with repressed RAR-beta mRNA expression; and (b) the antiproliferative effects of cRA in renal cancer cells are mediated through RAR-beta1.