Cancer is one of the major causes of mortality in organ transplant patients receiving immunosuppressive regimen based on Cyclosporin A (CsA). Organ transplantation and chronic immunosuppression are typically associated with skin cancers (both squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma) and renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Recent studies have shown that in addition to its immunosuppressive effects, accounted for by the inhibition of calcineurin and the modulation of the transcriptional programme of lymphocytes, CsA also directly stimulates the growth and aggressive behaviour of various cancer cells. Using renal carcinogenesis as an example, we discuss the current evidence for a role of cellular proteostasis, i.e. the regulation of the production, maturation and turnover of proteins in eukaryotic cells, in tumorigenesis arising under conditions of chronic immunosuppression. We present the recent studies showing that CsA induces the unfolded protein response (UPR) in normal and transformed kidney cells. We examine how the UPR might be important, considering in particular the genomic analyses showing the existence of a correlation between the levels of expression of the actors of the UPR, the chaperones of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the aggressiveness of renal carcinoma. The UPR may offer a possible explanation for how immunosuppressive regimens based on CsA promote renal carcinogenesis. We discuss the opportunities offered by this biological knowledge in terms of screening, diagnosis and treatment of post-transplant cancers, and propose possible future translational studies examining the role of tumour proteostasis and the UPR in this context.
A potential role of the unfolded protein response in post-transplant cancer
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Sandra Bodeau, Chloé Sauzay, Olivier Pluquet, Gabriel Choukroun, Antoine Galmiche; A potential role of the unfolded protein response in post-transplant cancer. Clin Sci (Lond) 1 July 2017; 131 (13): 1429–1436. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20170152
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