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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2018

Up-regulation of SR-BI promotes progression and serves as a prognostic biomarker in clear cell renal cell carcinoma

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Guang-hua Xu, Ning Lou, Hang-chuan Shi, Yu-chen Xu, Hai-long Ruan, Wen Xiao, Lei Liu, Xiang Li, Hai-bing Xiao, Bin Qiu, Lin Bao, Chang-fei Yuan, Ya-li Zhou, Wen-jun Hu, Ke Chen, Hong-mei Yang, Xiao-ping Zhang



Scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) has been reported to be involved in carcinogenesis of several human cancers. However, it is currently unknown whether SR-BI plays a role in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Here, we aimed to evaluate a tumor promotive mechanism for SR-BI in ccRCC.


The expression of SR-BI was evaluated by real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), Western blot and immunohistochemistry (IHC) in ccRCC tissues and cell lines. Lipid droplets in ccRCC tissues and normal kidney tissues were examined by Oil Red O (ORO) and hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining. The correlation between SR-BI mRNA levels and clinicopathological features was analyzed by Pearson’s chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox model were used to evaluate the difference in progression-free survival (PFS) associated with expression of SR-BI. Inhibition of SR-BI was conducted by using small interfering RNA (siRNA). In vitro assays were performed to assess the impact of SR-BI knockdown on cell biological behaviors. High density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol content in ccRCC cells and extracellular media was also measured after transfection with siRNA.


The expression of SR-BI was markedly up-regulated in ccRCC tissues and tumor cell lines. ORO and HE staining revealed huge amounts of lipid droplets accumulation in ccRCC. Clinical analysis showed that over-expression of SR-BI was positively associated with tumor size, grade, distant metastasis and inversely correlated with PFS. Furthermore, SR-BI was proved to be an independent prognostic marker in ccRCC patients. The inhibition of SR-BI attenuated the tumorous behaviors of ccRCC cells, expression of metastasis and AKT pathway related proteins. The content of HDL-cholesterol was reduced in cells while increased in extracellular media after transfection with si-SR-BI.


Our results demonstrate that SR-BI functions as an oncogene and promotes progression of ccRCC. SR-BI may serve as a potential prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for ccRCC.
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