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Kidney cancer usually shows no symptoms until the tumor is relatively large, and current drugs fail to stop the tumor recurrence. The transcriptional factor Runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) has been reported to function as a tumor suppressor in many types of cancers. Kidney cancer and adjacent normal tissues were collected from 12 patients to test the expression of RUNX3 by real-time quantitative PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry. Promoter methylation status of RUNX3 was determined using methylation analysis from 103 patient samples. Kidney cancer cell lines and xenograft mouse model were used to investigate the promoter methylation and cancer progression through inhibitor treatment and loss/gain-of-function experiments. RUNX3 was significantly downregulated in kidney cancer tissues and cells, which could be elevated by higher methylation status at its promoter region. RUNX3 promoter methylation was positively correlated with poor prognosis of kidney cancer. RUNX3 loss-of-function promoted the cell proliferation, migration, and invasion of kidney cancer cells, in contrast, RUNX3 overexpression inhibited the cancer cell progression. This study provides the first instance of the effect of RUNX3 expression and its promoter methylation status on kidney cancer. Targeting RUNX3 pathway and its promoter methylation are potential therapeutic strategies to treat kidney cancer. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Jianbo Zheng, Yanhui Mei, Guangsheng Zhai, Ning Zhao, Dongsheng Jia, Yidong Fan. Downregulation of RUNX3 has a poor prognosis and promotes tumor progress in kidney cancer. Urologic oncology. 2020 Sep;38(9):740.e11-740.e20

PMID: 32600926

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