Molecular mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis by gene expression profile analysis
- Tianying Zheng
- Aijun Wang
- Dongyan Hu
- Yonggang Wang
Published online on: August 3, 2017
Copyright: © Zheng et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
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Metastasis is the main cause of breast cancer‑related mortalities. The present study aimed to uncover the relevant molecular mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis and to explore potential biomarkers that may be used for prognosis. Expression profile microarray data GSE8977, which contained 22 stroma samples (15 were from normal breast and 7 were from invasive ductal carcinoma tumor samples), were obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Following data preprocessing, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were selected based on analyses conducted using the linear models for microarray analysis package from R and Bioconductor software. The resulting data were used in subsequent function and pathway enrichment analyses, as well as protein‑protein interaction (PPI) network and subnetwork analyses. Transcription factors (TFs) and tumor‑associated genes were also identified among the DEGs. A total of 234 DEGs were identified, which were enriched in immune response, cell differentiation and cell adhesion‑related functions and pathways. Downregulated DEGs included TFs, such as the proto‑oncogene SPI1, pre‑B‑cell leukemia homeobox 3 (PBX3) and lymphoid enhancer‑binding factor 1 (LEF1), as well as tumor suppressors (TSs), such as capping actin protein, gelsolin like (CAPG) and tumor protein p53‑inducible nuclear protein 1 (TP53INP1). Upregulated DEGs also included TFs and tumor suppressors, consisting of transcription factor 7‑like 2 (TCF7L2) and pleiomorphic adenoma gene‑like 1 (PLAGL1). DEGs that were identified at the hub nodes in the PPI network and the subnetwork were epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and spleen‑associated tyrosine kinase (SYK), respectively. Several genes crucial in the metastasis of breast cancer were identified, which may serve as potential biomarkers, many of which were associated with cell adhesion, proliferation or immune response, and may influence breast cancer metastasis by regulating these function or pathways.