Publication — IRIC
HCaRG/COMMD5 inhibits ErbB receptor-driven renal cell carcinoma.
Hypertension-related, calcium-regulated gene (HCaRG/COMMD5) is highly expressed in renal proximal tubules, where it contributes to the control of cell proliferation and differentiation. HCaRG accelerates tubular repair by facilitating re-differentiation of injured proximal tubular epithelial cells, thus improving mouse survival after acute kidney injury. Sustained hyper-proliferation and de-differentiation are important hallmarks of tumor progression. Here, we demonstrate that cancer cells overexpressing HCaRG maintain a more differentiated phenotype, while several of them undergo autophagic cell death. Its overexpression in mouse renal cell carcinomas led to smaller tumor size with less tumor vascularization in a homograft tumor model. Mechanistically, HCaRG promotes de-phosphorylation of the proto-oncogene erythroblastosis oncogene B (ErbB)2/HER2 and epigenetic gene silencing of epidermal growth factor receptor and ErbB3 via promoter methylation. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase, AKT and mammalian target of rapamycin which mediate ErbB-dowstream signaling pathways are inactivated by HCaRG expression. In addition, HCaRG is underexpressed in human renal cell carcinomas and more expressed in normal tissue adjacent to renal cell carcinomas of patients with favorable prognosis. Taken together, our data suggest a role for HCaRG in the inhibition of tumor progression as a natural inhibitor of the ErbB signals in cancer and as a potential prognostic marker for renal cell carcinomas.