Isoform-resolved mRNA profiling of ribosome load defines interplay of HIF and mTOR dysregulation in kidney cancer

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Hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways orchestrate responses to oxygen and nutrient availability. These pathways are frequently dysregulated in cancer, but their interplay is poorly understood, in part because of difficulties in simultaneous measurement of global and mRNA-specific translation. Here, we describe a workflow for measurement of ribosome load of mRNAs resolved by their transcription start sites (TSSs). Its application to kidney cancer cells reveals extensive translational reprogramming by mTOR, strongly affecting many metabolic enzymes and pathways. By contrast, global effects of HIF on translation are limited, and we do not observe reported translational activation by HIF2A. In contrast, HIF-dependent alterations in TSS usage are associated with robust changes in translational efficiency in a subset of genes. Analyses of the interplay of HIF and mTOR reveal that specific classes of HIF1A and HIF2A transcriptional target gene manifest different sensitivity to mTOR, in a manner that supports combined use of HIF2A and mTOR inhibitors in treatment of kidney cancer.

Journal details

Volume 29
Issue number 9
Pages 871-880
Available online
Publication date