Depleted metabolic enzymes promote tumor growth in kidney cancer
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IMAGE: These are representative immunohistochemistry images of ARG2 or ASS1 protein in primary ccRCC, N = normal, T = tumor. Scale bars represent 100 microns. view more 

Credit: Celeste Simon, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Cell Press

PHILADELPHIA – Kidney cancer, one of the ten most prevalent malignancies in the world, has increased in incidence over the last decade, likely due to rising obesity rates. The most common subtype of this cancer is “clear cell” renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), which exhibits multiple metabolic abnormalities, such as highly elevated stored sugar and fat deposition.

By integrating data on the function of essential metabolic enzymes with genetic, protein, and metabolic abnormalities associated with ccRCC, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania determined that enzymes important in multiple pathways are universally depleted in ccRCC tumors. They published their findings this week in Cell Metabolism.

“Kidney cancer develops from an extremely complex set of cellular malfunctions,” said senior author Celeste Simon, PhD, the scientific director of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and a professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. “That’s why we approached studying its cause from many perspectives.”

Using human tissue provided by the

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