NDUFA4 expression in clear cell renal cell carcinoma is predictive for cancer-specific survival

Franziska E. Müller*, Martin Braun, Isabella Syring, Niklas Klümper, Doris Schmidt, Sven Perner, Stefan Hauser, Stefan C. Müller, Jörg Ellinger

*Corresponding author for this work
13 Citations (Scopus)


Like other cancers, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) derives the essential energy for proliferation and survival from high rates of glycolysis rather than from oxidative phosphorylation of the mitochondrial respiration pathway. NDUFA4 (NADH Dehydrogenase (Ubiquinone) 1 Alpha Subcomplex, 4) is encoding a protein belonging to the respiratory chain of mitochondria. For a better understanding of the tumor biology and for identification of a potential new biomarker, we analyzed the regulation of NDUFA4 in RCC compared to normal tissue cells. Downregulation of NDUFA4 mRNA and protein was detected in RCC compared to normal renal tissues in quantitative real-time PCR as well as in western blot and immunohistochemical staining. Histological analysis revealed higher NDUFA4 expression in the distal tubules compared to the proximal tubules and the loop of Henle. A higher molecular weight of the NDUFA4 protein was discovered in RCC samples, possibly indicating a posttranslational modification. Moreover, NDUFA4 protein expression was predictive for cancer-specific survival. Our analysis revealed a potential new biomarker, but future studies are warranted to investigate the prognostic value of NDUF4A expression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Cancer Research
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2816-2822
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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