AGO2 expression levels and related genetic polymorphisms: influence in renal cell progression and aggressive phenotypes

Pharmacogenomics. 2021 Nov;22(16):1069-1079. doi: 10.2217/pgs-2021-0072. Epub 2021 Oct 21.


Aim: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most lethal urological cancer and up to 40% of patients submitted to surgery will relapse. Thus, the study aim was to analyze the associations of AGO2 SNPs with RCC patients' prognosis, and evaluate their effect on AGO2 mRNA levels. Materials & methods: The AGO2 rs4961280, rs3928672 and rs11996715 polymorphisms and the relative quantification of AGO2 mRNA levels were analyzed by real-time PCR. Results: We observed that AGO2 rs4961280 AC + AA genotypes carriers presented a higher cancer progression risk (odds ratio= 3.13, p < 0.001), a reduced progression-free survival (log rank test, p = 0.003) and an increased risk of an early relapse (hazard ratio= 2.26, p = 0.008). In fact, these patients also presented higher circulating levels of AGO2 mRNA (p = 0.043), with the high levels being associated with more aggressive tumors. Conclusion: The AGO2 rs4961280 AA/AC genotypes are unfavorable RCC prognostic biomarkers, with the AGO2 levels being a useful RCC aggressive phenotype biomarker.

Keywords: AGO2; miRNAs; polymorphisms; renal cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Argonaute Proteins / genetics*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / genetics*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Prognosis
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • AGO2 protein, human
  • Argonaute Proteins
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • RNA, Messenger