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International journal of clinical and experimental pathology

SOX9 was involved in TKIs resistance in renal cell carcinoma via Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway.


PMID 26097571

Abstract

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is common genitourinary malignancy in human, 30-40% of patients with RCC would be diagnosed with metastatic RCC (mRCC). Even in the era of targeted therapy, patients with mRCC would inevitably progress due to drug resistance. Herein, exploration of the mechanisms of resistance is noteworthy to study. In the present study, we firstly reported the expression profile of SOX9 in renal carcinoma cells and tissues, and found that its expression was significantly associated with Fuhrman grading. Dual luciferase analysis confirmed that Raf/MEK/ERK pathway could directly be regulated by SOX9, and sequential experiments demonstrated that, renal carcinoma cells could sensitize to Sorafenib/Sunitinib through Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway inhibition regulated by SOX9 down-regulation. In a small cases with mRCC treated with Sorafenib/Sunitinib (n=38), comparative analysis showed that patients with SOX9 (-) had much better therapeutic response to TKIs than those with SOX9 (+) (PD: 9.1% vs. 56.2%, P=0.002, DCR: 90.9% vs. 43.8%, P=0.002). Based on these findings, we concluded that, SOX9 was firstly described to be highly expressed in renal cell carcinoma, and its expression was involved in TKIs drug resistance through activation of Raf/MEK/ERK pathway. In vitro, patients with SOX9 (-) was related to better response to TKIs treatment than those with SOX9 (+). SOX9 could be expected to be a promising biomarker predicting TKIs response and even expected to be another novel target in the treatment of mRCC.