Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common histological type of adult kidney cancer. In this study, we obtained lipidomic profiles of clear cell RCC (ccRCC), a major RCC subtype, by performing a lipidomic analysis of specimens of cancerous tissue and the surrounding normal renal cortex obtained from the same patients (N = 49). We also compared the lipidomic profiles with the lipogenic transcriptome of specimens of cancerous tissue and the surrounding normal renal cortex for an additional set of patient samples (N = 95). Overall, we detected 326 lipids, including phospholipids, sphingolipids, neutral lipids, and eicosanoids. The levels of more than 70% of the detected lipids were significantly different (P < 0.01, corrected by the false discovery rate). The cancerous tissue was distinguished by higher levels of ether-type phospholipids, cholesterol esters, and triacylglycerols, as well as by lower levels of phospholipids (except for phosphatidylcholines) and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Characteristic changes in the levels of mRNAs and metabolites suggested that the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) synthesis pathway is suppressed in ccRCC and associated with cell proliferation. The present study represents the lipidomic profiles of ccRCC, which provides novel information about the metabolic changes in renal cancerous tissue and RCC pathophysiology.
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