Hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF1a) and its regulator von Hippel–Lindau protein (VHL) play an important role in tumour ischemia. Currently, drugs that target HIF1a are being developed to treat malignancies. Although HIF1a is known to be expressed in uveal melanoma (UM), it is as yet unknown which factors, such as tumour size or genetics, determine its expression. Therefore, we aimed to determine which tumour characteristics relate to HIF1a expression in UM. Data from 64 patients who were enucleated for UM were analysed. Messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was determined with the Illumina HT-12 v4 chip. In 54 cases, the status of chromosomes 3 and 8q, and BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) protein expression (immunohistochemistry) were determined. Findings were corroborated using data of 80 patients from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) study. A significantly increased expression of HIF1a, and a decreased expression of VHL were associated with monosomy 3/loss of BAP1 expression. The relationship between BAP1 loss and HIF1a expression was independent of chromosome 3. The largest basal diameter and tumour thickness showed no relationship with HIF1a. HIF1a expression related to an increased presence of infiltrating T cells and macrophages. From this study, we conclude that HIF1a is strongly related to tumour genetics in UM, especially to loss of BAP1 expression, and less to tumour size. Tumour ischemia is furthermore related to the presence of an inflammatory phenotype.

Additional Metadata
Keywords BAP1, Chromosomes, Gene expression, HIF1a, Infiltrate, Ischemia, Oncology, Uveal melanoma
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11071004, hdl.handle.net/1765/119270
Journal Cancers
Brouwer, N.J. (Niels J.), Wierenga, A.P.A. (Annemijn P. A.), Gezgin, G, Marinkovic, M, Luyten, G, Kroes, W.G.M. (Wilma G. M.), … Jager, M.J. (2019). Ischemia is related to tumour genetics in uveal melanoma. Cancers, 11(7). doi:10.3390/cancers11071004