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Comparative mRNA and microRNA Expression Profiling of Three Genitourinary Cancers Reveals Common Hallmarks and Cancer-Specific Molecular Events

Authors
Journal
PLoS ONE
1932-6203
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Volume
6
Issue
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022570
Keywords
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Genomics
  • Genome Expression Analysis
  • Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Basic Cancer Research
  • Urology
  • Bladder Cancer And Urothelial Neoplasias Of The Urinary Tract
  • Renal Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Background Genome-wide gene expression profile using deep sequencing technologies can drive the discovery of cancer biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Such efforts are often limited to profiling the expression signature of either mRNA or microRNA (miRNA) in a single type of cancer. Methodology Here we provided an integrated analysis of the genome-wide mRNA and miRNA expression profiles of three different genitourinary cancers: carcinomas of the bladder, kidney and testis. Principal Findings Our results highlight the general or cancer-specific roles of several genes and miRNAs that may serve as candidate oncogenes or suppressors of tumor development. Further comparative analyses at the systems level revealed that significant aberrations of the cell adhesion process, p53 signaling, calcium signaling, the ECM-receptor and cell cycle pathways, the DNA repair and replication processes and the immune and inflammatory response processes were the common hallmarks of human cancers. Gene sets showing testicular cancer-specific deregulation patterns were mainly implicated in processes related to male reproductive function, and general disruptions of multiple metabolic pathways and processes related to cell migration were the characteristic molecular events for renal and bladder cancer, respectively. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that tumors with the same histological origins and genes with similar functions tended to group together in a clustering analysis. By assessing the correlation between the expression of each miRNA and its targets, we determined that deregulation of ‘key’ miRNAs may result in the global aberration of one or more pathways or processes as a whole. Conclusions This systematic analysis deciphered the molecular phenotypes of three genitourinary cancers and investigated their variations at the miRNA level simultaneously. Our results provided a valuable source for future studies and highlighted some promising genes, miRNAs, pathways and processes that may be useful for diagnostic or therapeutic applications.

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