Despite association with several pathogenic disorders the family of solute carriers (SLC) are grossly understudied in cancer. In the current translational project we aim to exploit the inherent transporter function of these proteins for development of novel diagnostic tools.
Using public expression repositories (TCGA) we are performing unbiased screens of transport proteins in malignancies for identification of novel functional biomarkers in cancer, with particular focus on kidney cancer. As expected, normal kidney and malignant derivatives display a unique expression pattern of SLC genes in comparison to other malignancies, which could be attributed to the normal function of the kidney. In the current project we want to exploit the inherent transporter function of SLC genes for tumor-specific uptake of radiolabeled or cytotoxic ligands for diagnosis and treatment of malignancies. We are currently focusing on SLC6A3, a novel and highly specific biomarker for clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC).
The specific aims of the project are to:
- Explore additional transporter proteins that might serve as biomarkers for kidney cancer.
- Clarify the regulatory mechanisms behind the tissue-specific induction of SLC6A3 in renal cells.
- Develop novel SLC6A3-specific radionuclides for diagnosis and therapy of ccRCC using in vitro and in vivo model systems.