T lymphocytes from patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) show reduced immune function and impaired activation of the transcription factor, NF-kappaB. We determined the mechanism of NF-kappaB suppression in T cells of RCC patient and determined whether supernatant fluid from RCC explants (RCC-S) induced the same phenotype of NF-kappaB suppression in normal T cells that is observed in patient T cells. The pattern of kappaB-binding activity in T cells of RCC patient was altered as compared to that seen in T cells obtained from normal volunteers. In some patients, no activation of RelA/NFkappaB1-binding activity was detectable, while in others kappaB-binding activity was modestly induced but the duration was reduced. IkappaBalpha was degraded normally following stimulation in both normal controls and T cells from RCC patients. RCC-S did not alter the cytoplasmic levels of RelA and NF-kappaB1 but did suppress their nuclear localization and inhibited the activation of RelA/NF-kappaB1 binding complexes. These results show that RCC-S can induce in normal T cells the same phenotype of impaired NF-kappaB activation that is detected in T cells of RCC patient. It also appears that NF-kappaB suppression by RCC-S may contribute to the immunosuppression of host immunity
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