We report the use of spectral karyotyping (SKY) and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) to describe the numerous genomic imbalances characteristic of stage IV clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CCRCC). SKY and CGH were performed on 10 cell lines established from nephrectomy specimens, and CGH on uncultured material from five of the primary renal tumors. The mutational status of VHL (3p25) and MET (7q31), genes implicated in renal carcinogenesis, were determined for each case. Each case showed marked aneuploidy, with an average number of copy alterations of 14.6 (+/-2.7) in the primary tumors and 19.3 (+/-4.6) in the cell lines. Both whole-chromosome and chromosome-segment imbalances were noted by CGH: consistent losses or gains included +5q23-->ter (100%), -3p14-->ter (80%), and +7 (70%). All VHL mutations and 83% of the genomic imbalances found in the primary tumors were also found in the cell lines derived from them. SKY showed many complex structural rearrangements that were undetected by conventional banding analysis in these solid tumors. All cases with VHL inactivation had 3p loss and 5q gain related primarily to unbalanced translocations between 3p and 5q. In contrast, gains of chromosome 7 resulted primarily from whole-chromosome gains and were not associated with mutations of MET. SKY and CGH demonstrated that genomic imbalances in advanced RCC were the result of either segregation errors [i.e., whole chromosomal gains and losses (7.8/case)] or chromosomal rearrangements (10.7/case), of which the majority were unbalanced translocations.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.