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Prohibitin is a prognostic marker of relapse and therapeutic target to block chemotherapy resistance in Wilms tumor

By Michael V. Ortiz, Saima Ahmed, Melissa Burns, Anton G Henssen, Travis J Hollmann, Ian MacArthur, Shehana Gunasekera, Lyvia Gaewsky, Gary Bradwin, Jeremy Ryan, Anthony Letai, Ying He, Arlene Naranjo, Yueh-Yun Chi, Michael LaQuaglia, Todd Heaton, Paolo Cifani, Jeffrey S Dome, Samantha Gadd, Elizabeth Perlman, Elizabeth Mullen, Hanno Steen, Alex Kentsis

Posted 30 Dec 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/508754 (published DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.127098)

Wilms tumor (WT) is the most common childhood kidney cancer. To improve risk stratification and identify novel therapeutic targets for patients with WT, we used high-resolution mass spectrometry proteomics to identify urine tumor markers associated with WT relapse. We determined urine proteomes at diagnosis of 49 patients with WT, non-WT renal tumors, and age-matched controls, leading to the quantitation of 6,520 urine proteins. Supervised analysis revealed specific urine markers of renal rhabdoid tumors, kidney clear cell sarcomas, renal cell carcinomas, as well as those detected in cured and relapsed WT. In particular, urine prohibitin was significantly elevated at diagnosis in patients with relapsed as compared to cured WT. In a validation cohort of 139 patients, a specific urine prohibitin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay demonstrated that prohibitin concentrations greater than 998 ng/mL at diagnosis were significantly associated with ultimate WT relapse. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that prohibitin was highly expressed in primary WT specimens and associated with disease stage. Using functional genetic experiments, we found that prohibitin was required for the growth and survival of WT cells. Overexpression of prohibitin was sufficient to block intrinsic mitochondrial apoptosis and to cause resistance to diverse chemotherapy drugs, at least in part by dysregulating factors that control apoptotic cytochrome c release from mitochondrial cristae. Thus, urine prohibitin may improve therapy stratification, non-invasive monitoring of treatment response and early disease detection. In addition, therapeutic targeting of chemotherapy resistance induced by prohibitin dysregulation may offer improved therapies for patients with Wilms and other relapsed or refractory tumors.

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