Background: Starvation-induced tumor microenvironment significantly alters genetic profiles including long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), further regulating the malignant biological characteristics (invasion and migration) of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC).

Methods: Transcriptome RNA-sequencing data of 539 ccRCC tumors and 72 normal tissues were acquired from the TCGA and paired clinical samples of 50 ccRCC patients. In vitro experiments, such as qPCR, migration and invasion assays were applied to reveal the clinical relevance of LINC-PINT, AC108449.2 and AC007637.1.

Results: 170 lncRNAs were verified as starvation-related lncRNAs (SR-LncRs), of which 25 lncRNAs were associated with overall survival in ccRCC patients. Furthermore, a starvation-related risk score model (SRSM) was built based on the expression levels of LINC-PINT, AC108449.2, AC009120.2, AC008702.2 and AC007637.1. ccRCC patients with high level of LINC-PINT expression were divided into high-risk group and led to higher mortality, but AC108449.2 and AC007637.1 were contrary. Analogously, LINC-PINT was highly expressed in ccRCC cell lines and tumor tissues, especially in patients with advanced stage, T-stage and M-stage, while AC108449.2 and AC007637.1 showed the opposite results. In addition, the increased levels of AC108449.2 and AC007637.1 were significantly correlated with grade. Silencing LINC-PINT reduced the invasion and migration characteristics of ccRCC cells. SiR-AC108449.2 and siR-AC007637.1 enhanced the ability of invasion and migration in ccRCC cells.

Conclusions: In this study, we find the clinical significance of LINC-PINT, AC108449.2 and AC007637.1 in predicting the prognosis of ccRCC patients and verify their correlation with various clinical parameters. These findings provide an advisable risk score model for ccRCC clinical decision-making.