Von hippel-lindau: a tumor suppressor links microtubules to ciliogenesis and cancer development

Cancer Res. 2007 May 15;67(10):4537-40. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-0391.


Loss of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene function occurs in familial and most sporadic renal cell carcinoma. The tumor suppressor role of the protein pVHL is based on its ability to target transcription factors of the hypoxia-inducible factor family for degradation, but other functions of pVHL are less clearly defined. New findings show that pVHL is necessary for cilia formation. pVHL interacts with PAR proteins, a complex that specifies the membrane domains of polarized epithelial cells, and directs the orientation of growing microtubules. Loss of pVHL results in aberrant orientation of newly formed microtubules and prevents ciliogenesis. These results add to a growing body of evidence linking cilia and the cell cycle and suggest that the tumor suppressor role of pVHL may involve previously unrecognized pathways.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Cilia / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein / genetics
  • Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein / metabolism
  • Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein / physiology*


  • Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein