Cancers have been described as wounds that do not heal, suggesting that the two share common features. By comparing microarray data from a model of renal regeneration and repair (RRR) with reported gene expression in renal cell carcinoma (RCC), we asked whether those two processes do, in fact, share molecular features and regulatory mechanisms. The majority (77%) of the genes expressed in RRR and RCC were concordantly regulated, whereas only 23% were discordant (i.e., changed in opposite directions). The orchestrated processes of regeneration, involving cell proliferation and immune response, were reflected in the concordant genes. The discordant gene signature revealed processes (e.g., morphogenesis and glycolysis) and pathways (e.g., hypoxia-inducible factor and insulin-like growth factor-I) that reflect the intrinsic pathologic nature of RCC. This is the first study that compares gene expression patterns in RCC and RRR. It does so, in particular, with relation to the hypothesis that RCC resembles the wound healing processes seen in RRR. However, careful attention to the genes that are regulated in the discordant direction provides new insights into the critical differences between renal carcinogenesis and wound healing. The observations reported here provide a conceptual framework for further efforts to understand the biology and to develop more effective diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic strategies for renal tumors and renal ischemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research