ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: We set out to identify Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) as a novel molecular target in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) and examine its role in tumor cell growth and viability in vitro and in vivo independently as well as in combination with current U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved regimens.Experimental Design: Patient normal and ccRCC tissue samples and cell lines were examined for SCD1 expression. Genetic knockdown models and targeted inhibition of SCD1 through use of a small molecule inhibitor, A939572, were analyzed for growth, apoptosis, and alterations in gene expression using gene array analysis. Therapeutic models of synergy were evaluated utilizing pharmacologic inhibition of SCD1 with the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) sunitinib and pazopanib, and the mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus.Results: Our studies identify increased SCD1 expression in all stages of ccRCC. Both genetic knockdown and pharmacologic inhibition of SCD1 decreased tumor cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Upon gene array, quantitative real-time PCR, and protein analysis of A939572-treated or SCD1 lentiviral knockdown samples, induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress response signaling was observed, providing mechanistic insight for SCD1 activity in ccRCC. Furthermore, combinatorial application of A939572 with temsirolimus synergistically inhibited tumor growth in vitro and in vivo.Conclusions: Increased SCD1 expression supports ccRCC viability and therefore we propose it as a novel molecular target for therapy either independently or in combination with an mTOR inhibitor for patients whose disease cannot be remedied with surgical intervention, such as in cases of advanced or metastatic disease. Clin Cancer Res; 19(9); 2368–80. ©2013 AACR.