Proteomic analysis of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma and benign renal oncocytoma biopsies reveals shared metabolic dysregulation

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Background: This study investigates the proteomic landscapes of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC) and renal oncocytomas (RO), two subtypes of renal cell carcinoma that together account for approximately 10% of all renal tumors. Despite their histological similarities and shared origins, chRCC is a malignant tumor necessitating aggressive intervention, while RO, a benign growth, is often subject to overtreatment due to difficulties in accurate differentiation. Methods: We conducted a label-free quantitative proteomic analysis on solid biopsies of chRCC (n = 5), RO (n = 5), and normal adjacent tissue (NAT, n = 5). The quantitative analysis was carried out by comparing protein abundances between tumor and NAT specimens. Our analysis identified a total of 1610 proteins across all samples, with 1379 (85.7%) of these proteins quantified in at least seven out of ten LC‒MS/MS runs for one renal tissue type (chRCC, RO, or NAT). Results: Our findings revealed significant similarities in the dysregulation of key metabolic pathways, including carbohydrate, lipid, and amino acid metabolism, in both chRCC and RO. Compared to NAT, both chRCC and RO showed a marked downregulation in gluconeogenesis proteins, but a significant upregulation of proteins integral to the citrate cycle. Interestingly, we observed a distinct divergence in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway, with RO showing a significant increase in the number and degree of alterations in proteins, surpassing that observed in chRCC. Conclusions: This study underscores the value of integrating high-resolution mass spectrometry protein quantification to effectively characterize and differentiate the proteomic landscapes of solid tumor biopsies diagnosed as chRCC and RO. The insights gained from this research offer valuable information for enhancing our understanding of these conditions and may aid in the development of improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Proteomics
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2023


  • Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma
  • Label-free Quantification
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • OCT-embedded tissues
  • Renal Oncocytoma
  • Total Protein Approach


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