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Methylenetetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase 1 (MTHFD1) is Underexpressed in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Tissue and Transfection and Overexpression in Caki-1 Cells Inhibits Cell Proliferation and Increases Apoptosis

Donglin He, Zhihai Yu, Sheng Liu, Hong Dai, Qing Xu, Feng Li

(Department of Urology, Chongqing Three Gorges Central Hospital, Chongqing, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:8391-8400

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.911124

Published: 2018-11-21

BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were to investigate the expression of methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 1 (MTHFD1) in human tissue containing clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC) compared with normal renal tissue, and the effects of upregulating the expression of MTHFD1 in the human CCRCC cell line, Caki-1.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Tumor and adjacent normal renal tissue were obtained from 44 patients who underwent radical nephrectomy for CCRCC. Caki-1 human CCRCC cells were divided into the control group, the empty vector (EV) group, and the plasmid-treated group that overexpressed MTHFD1. MTHFD1 mRNA and protein levels were measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot, respectively. The cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay measured cell viability. Flow cytometry evaluated apoptosis and the cell cycle. Western blot measured the protein levels of MTHFD1, Bax, Bcl-2, Akt, p53, and cyclin D1, and qRT-PCR determined the gene expression profiles.
RESULTS: MTHFD1 mRNA and protein levels in CCRCC tumor tissues were significantly lower compared with adjacent normal renal tissue. MTHFD1 over-expression in Caki-1 cells inhibited cell proliferation, arrested cells in the G1 phase, increased cell apoptosis, and upregulated gene and protein expression of Bax/Bcl-2 and p53 and inhibited p-Akt, and cyclin D1.
CONCLUSIONS: MTHFD1 was underexpressed in CCRCC tissue when compared with normal renal tissue. MTHFD1 transfection of human CCRCC Caki-1 cells in vitro inhibited cell proliferation and promoted apoptosis, associated with reduced expression of cyclin D1, reduced Akt phosphorylation, and increased expression of Bax/Bcl-2 and p53.

Keywords: Apoptosis, Cell Cycle, Kidney Neoplasms, Methylenetetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase