Cancer research

ITPR1 protects renal cancer cells against natural killer cells by inducing autophagy.

PMID 25297632


Clear cell renal cell carcinomas (RCC) frequently display inactivation of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene leading to increased level of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF). In this study, we investigated the potential role of HIF2α in regulating RCC susceptibility to natural killer (NK) cell-mediated killing. We demonstrated that the RCC cell line 786-0 with mutated VHL was resistant to NK-mediated lysis as compared with the VHL-corrected cell line (WT7). This resistance was found to require HIF2α stabilization. On the basis of global gene expression profiling and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we found ITPR1 (inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor, type 1) as a direct novel target of HIF2α and that targeting ITPR1 significantly increased susceptibility of 786-0 cells to NK-mediated lysis. Mechanistically, HIF2α in 786-0 cells lead to overexpression of ITPR1, which subsequently regulated the NK-mediated killing through the activation of autophagy in target cells by NK-derived signal. Interestingly, both ITPR1 and Beclin-1 silencing in 786-0 cells inhibited NK-induced autophagy and subsequently increased granzyme B activity in target cells. Finally, in vivo ITPR1 targeting significantly enhanced the NK-mediated tumor regression. Our data provide insight into the link between HIF2α, the ITPR1-related pathway, and natural immunity and strongly suggest a role for the HIF2α/ITPR1 axis in regulating RCC cell survival.