Omar Hussain, Product Specialist at Don Whitley Scientific, provides a synopsis of a paper by Dr Sophie Cowman et al, University of Utah. Their research looked at clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), which is frequently associated with inactivation of the von Hippel Lindau tumour suppressor, resulting in activation of HIF-1α and HIF-2α. The current paradigm, established using mechanistic cell-based studies, supports a tumour promoting role for HIF-2α, and a tumour suppressor role for HIF-1α. The paper is entitled:
“Macrophage HIF-1α is an independent prognostic indicator in kidney cancer”
This is something that has not been comprehensively studied before and was carried out by assessing the involvement of hypoxia associated factors/hypoxia inducible factors and their relationship to tumour grade/stage/outcome using tissue from 380 patients.
To grow the different types of cell lines under hypoxic conditions, Dr Cowman used a Whitley H35 Hypoxystation. The Hypoxystation allowed Dr Cowman to choose O2 concentrations ranging from 0.1-20% with the ease of changing the O2 in increments of 0.1%, which allowed the induction and stabilisation of HIF-1α that was crucial for these experiments. As well as the O2 concentration, several other parameters were also tightly controlled. These are: CO2 levels, humidity and temperature.
Dr Cowman’s results demonstrated a potential role of tumour associated macrophages HIF-1α in clear cell renal carcinoma progression and supports the re-evaluation of HIF-1α as a therapeutic target and marker of disease progression.