Gene Summary

Gene:INHBA; inhibin beta A subunit
Aliases: EDF, FRP
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the TGF-beta (transforming growth factor-beta) superfamily of proteins. The encoded preproprotein is proteolytically processed to generate a subunit of the dimeric activin and inhibin protein complexes. These complexes activate and inhibit, respectively, follicle stimulating hormone secretion from the pituitary gland. The encoded protein also plays a role in eye, tooth and testis development. Elevated expression of this gene may be associated with cancer cachexia in human patients. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2016]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:inhibin beta A chain
Source:NCBIAccessed: 15 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 15 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 15 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: INHBA (cancer-related)

Grigoroiu M, Tagett R, Draghici S, et al.
Gene-expression Profiling in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer with Invasion of Mediastinal Lymph Nodes for Prognosis Evaluation.
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2015 Sep-Oct; 12(5):231-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: The aim of the study was to determine the pathways and expression profile of the genes that might predict response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We evaluated, by microarray, the gene-expression profile of tumoral mediastinal lymph node samples surgically removed from 27 patients with stage IIIA NSCLC before neoadjuvant chemotherapy treatment. Depending on the response to the induction treatment, the patients were divided in two groups: group A: patients whose disease evolved, stabilized or who had minor response to chemotherapy, and group B: patients whose disease stabilized or had major response to chemotherapy.
RESULTS: The microarray experiments identified 1,127 genes with a modified expression in the tumoral tissue compared to normal tissue with p≤0.05 and 44 genes with p≤0.01. The identified up-regulated genes between tumoral versus normal tissue included collagen, type I, alpha 1 (COL1A1), inhibin beta A (INHBA) and thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP). Pathways identified with a false-discovery rate of <0.005 included: cytokine pathways, focal adhesion or extracellular matrix receptor interaction.
CONCLUSION: Our approach identified important characteristics of NSCLC and pointed-out molecular differences between sub-groups of patients based on their response to therapy.

Yokota M, Kojima M, Higuchi Y, et al.
Gene expression profile in the activation of subperitoneal fibroblasts reflects prognosis of patients with colon cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(6):1422-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumors can create a heterogenetic tumor microenvironment. We recently identified the pathologically unique cancer microenvironment formed by peritoneal invasion (CMPI), and revealed that subperitoneal fibroblasts (SPFs) within peritoneal tissue play a crucial role in tumor progression through their interaction with cancer cells. Therefore, the genes in SPFs altered by cancer stimulation may include some biologically important factors associated with patient prognosis. In this study, we aimed to identify new biomarkers using genes specifically upregulated in SPFs by cancer-cell-conditioned medium (CCCM) stimulation (SPFs CCCM response genes; SCR genes) in colon cancer (CC). We constructed two frameworks using SCR gene data: a publicly released microarray dataset, and validation cases with freshly frozen CC samples to identify genes related to short recurrence-free survival (RFS). In the first framework, we selected differentially expressed genes between the high and low SCR gene expression groups. In the second framework, genes significantly related to short RFS were selected by univariate analysis using all SCR genes, and multivariate analysis was performed to select robust genes associated with short RFS. We identified CTGF, CALD1, INHBA and TAGLN in the first framework, and PDLIM5, MAGI1, SPTBN1 and TAGLN in the second framework. Among these seven genes, high expression of three genes (CALD1, TAGLN and SPTBN1) showed a poor prognosis in our validation cases. In a public microarray dataset, SCR gene expression was associated with the expression of ECM component, EMT, and M2-macrophage associated genes, which was concordant with the pathological features of CMPI. Thus, we successfully identified new prognostic factors.

Basu M, Bhattacharya R, Ray U, et al.
Invasion of ovarian cancer cells is induced byPITX2-mediated activation of TGF-β and Activin-A.
Mol Cancer. 2015; 14:162 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Most ovarian cancers are highly invasive in nature and the high burden of metastatic disease make them a leading cause of mortality among all gynaecological malignancies. The homeodomain transcription factor, PITX2 is associated with cancer in different tissues. Our previous studies demonstrated increased PITX2 expression in human ovarian tumours. Growing evidence linking activation of TGF-β pathway by homeodomain proteins prompted us to look for the possible involvement of this signalling pathway in PITX2-mediated progression of ovarian cancer.
METHODS: The status of TGF-β signalling in human ovarian tissues was assessed by immunohistochemistry. The expression level of TGFB/INHBA and other invasion-associated genes was measured by quantitative-PCR (Q-PCR) and Western Blot after transfection/treatments with clones/reagents in normal/cancer cells. The physiological effect of PITX2 on invasion/motility was checked by matrigel invasion and wound healing assay. The PITX2- and activin-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was evaluated by Q-PCR of respective markers and confocal/phase-contrast imaging of cells.
RESULTS: Human ovarian tumours showed enhanced TGF-β signalling. Our study uncovers the PITX2-induced expression of TGFB1/2/3 as well as INHBA genes (p < 0.01) followed by SMAD2/3-dependent TGF-β signalling pathway. PITX2-induced TGF-β pathway regulated the expression of invasion-associated genes, SNAI1, CDH1 and MMP9 (p < 0.01) that accounted for enhanced motility/invasion of ovarian cancers. Snail and MMP9 acted as important mediators of PITX2-induced invasiveness of ovarian cancer cells. PITX2 over-expression resulted in loss of epithelial markers (p < 0.01) and gain of mesenchymal markers (p < 0.01) that contributed significantly to ovarian oncogenesis. PITX2-induced INHBA expression (p < 0.01) contributed to EMT in both normal and ovarian cancer cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our findings suggest a significant contributory role of PITX2 in promoting invasive behaviour of ovarian cancer cells through up-regulation of TGFB/INHBA. We have also identified the previously unknown involvement of activin-A in promoting EMT. Our work provides novel mechanistic insights into the invasive behavior of ovarian cancer cells. The extension of this study have the potential for therapeutic applications in future.

Saiag P, Grob JJ, Lebbe C, et al.
Diagnosis and treatment of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. European consensus-based interdisciplinary guideline.
Eur J Cancer. 2015; 51(17):2604-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a skin fibroblastic tumour that is locally aggressive, with a tendency for local recurrence, but rarely metastasizes. A unique collaboration of multi-disciplinary experts from the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO) and the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) was formed to make recommendations on DFSP diagnosis and treatment, based on systematic literature reviews and the experts' experience. Diagnosis is suspected clinically and confirmed by pathology. Analysis by fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) or multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect specific chromosomal translocations and fusion gene transcripts is useful to confirm a difficult DFSP diagnosis. Treatment is mainly surgical, with the aim to achieve complete resection of the tumour. In order to reduce the recurrence rate, the treatment of choice of DFSP seems to be Mohs' micrographic surgery (MMS) and related variants. In hospitals where only standard histopathological procedures are available, standard excision with lateral safety margin of 3cm is advisable. Imatinib (Glivec®) is approved in Europe for the treatment of inoperable primary tumours, locally inoperable recurrent disease, and metastatic DFSP. Imatinib has also been given to patients with extensive, difficult-to-operate tumours for preoperative reduction of tumour size, but the usefulness of this attitude should be confirmed by clinical trials. Therapeutic decisions for patients with fibrosarcomatous DFSP should be primarily made by an interdisciplinary oncology team ('tumour board').

De Spiegeleer B, Verbeke F, D'Hondt M, et al.
The quorum sensing peptides PhrG, CSP and EDF promote angiogenesis and invasion of breast cancer cells in vitro.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(3):e0119471 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The role of the human microbiome on cancer progression remains unclear. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the influence of some quorum sensing peptides, produced by diverse commensal or pathogenic bacteria, on breast cancer cell invasion and thus cancer outcome. Based on microscopy, transcriptome and Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) analyses, four peptides (PhrG from B. subtilis, CSP from S. mitis and EDF from E. coli, together with its tripeptide analogue) were found to promote tumour cell invasion and angiogenesis, thereby potentially influencing tumour metastasis. Our results offer not only new insights on the possible role of the microbiome, but also further opportunities in cancer prevention and therapy by competing with these endogenous molecules and/or by modifying people's life style.

Lee HY, Li CC, Huang CN, et al.
INHBA overexpression indicates poor prognosis in urothelial carcinoma of urinary bladder and upper tract.
J Surg Oncol. 2015; 111(4):414-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Urothelial carcinoma (UC) originating from the bladder (UBUC) and upper urinary tract (UTUC) is the most common type of urinary tract tumor. While its pathogenesis remains obscured. Computerizing a published transcriptomic database of UBUC (GSE31684), we identified Inhibin, Beta A (INHBA) as the most significant upregulated gene associated with tumor progression among those associated with growth factor activity (GO:0008083). We therefore analyzed the clinicopathological significance of INHBA expression in UC.
DESIGN: QuantiGene assay was used to detect INHBA transcript level in 36 UTUCs and 30 UBUCs. Immunohistochemistry evaluated by H-score was used to determine INHBA protein expression in 340 UTUCs and 296 UBUCs. INHBA expression was correlated with clinicopathological features and disease-specific survival (DSS) and metastasis-free survival (MeFS).
RESULTS: Increments of INHBA transcript level was associated with higher pT status in both UTUC and UBUC. INHBA protein overexpression was significantly associated with advanced clinicopathological features in both groups of UC. INHBA overexpression significantly implied inferior DSS (UTUC, P = 0.002; UBUC, P = 0.005) and MeFS (UTUC and UBUC, both P < 0.001) in multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSION: INHBA overexpression implies adverse clinical outcomes for UC, justifying it is a potential prognostic biomarker and a novel therapeutic target in UC.

Wamsley JJ, Kumar M, Allison DF, et al.
Activin upregulation by NF-κB is required to maintain mesenchymal features of cancer stem-like cells in non-small cell lung cancer.
Cancer Res. 2015; 75(2):426-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Soluble growth factors and cytokines within the tumor microenvironment aid in the induction of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Although EMT promotes the development of cancer-initiating cells (CIC), cellular mechanisms by which cancer cells maintain mesenchymal phenotypes remain poorly understood. Work presented here indicates that induction of EMT stimulates non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to secrete soluble factors that function in an autocrine fashion. Using gene expression profiling of all annotated and predicted secreted gene products, we find that NF-κB activity is required to upregulate INHBA/Activin, a morphogen in the TGFβ superfamily. INHBA is capable of inducing and maintaining mesenchymal phenotypes, including the expression of EMT master-switch regulators and self-renewal factors that sustain CIC phenotypes and promote lung metastasis. Our work demonstrates that INHBA mRNA and protein expression are commonly elevated in primary human NSCLC and provide evidence that INHBA is a critical autocrine factor that maintains mesenchymal properties of CICs to promote metastasis in NSCLC.

Perisé-Barrios AJ, Gómez R, Corbí AL, et al.
Use of carbosilane dendrimer to switch macrophage polarization for the acquisition of antitumor functions.
Nanoscale. 2015; 7(9):3857-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor microenvironment favors the escape from immunosurveillance by promoting immunosuppression and blunting pro-inflammatory responses. Since most tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) exhibit an M2-like tumor cell growth promoting polarization, we have studied the role of 2G-03NN24 carbosilane dendrimer in M2 macrophage polarization to evaluate the potential application of dendrimers in tumor immunotherapy. We found that the 2G-03NN24 dendrimer decreases LPS-induced IL-10 production from in vitro generated monocyte-derived M2 macrophages, and also switches their gene expression profile towards the acquisition of M1 polarization markers (INHBA, SERPINE1, FLT1, EGLN3 and ALDH1A2) and the loss of M2 polarization-associated markers (EMR1, IGF1, FOLR2 and SLC40A1). Furthermore, 2G-03NN24 dendrimer decreases STAT3 activation. Our results indicate that the 2G-03NN24 dendrimer can be a useful tool for antitumor therapy by virtue of its potential ability to limit the M2-like polarization of TAM.

Ciarmela P, Carrarelli P, Islam MS, et al.
Ulipristal acetate modulates the expression and functions of activin a in leiomyoma cells.
Reprod Sci. 2014; 21(9):1120-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uterine leiomyoma is the most common benign gynecological tumor in women of reproductive age and represents the single most common indication for hysterectomy. A development of new treatments is necessary for a medical management, and in this direction, several hormonal drugs are under investigation. Ulipristal acetate (UPA; a selective progesterone receptor modulator) is considered as one of the most promising because progesterone has a critical role in development and growth of uterine leiomyoma. The effect of steroids is partly mediated by growth factors like activin A which increases extracellular matrix expression contributing to the growth of leiomyoma. The present study aimed to test whether UPA acts on leiomyoma cells affecting expression and functions of activin A system. Cultured myometrial and leiomyoma cells were treated with UPA, and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression levels of activin A (inhibin βA [INHBA] subunits), its binding proteins (follistatin [FST] and FST-related gene), and its receptors (activin receptor-like kinase 4 [ALK4], activin receptor type [ActR] II, and ActRIIB) were evaluated. The effect of UPA on activin A modulation of fibronectin and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) mRNA expression in cultured myometrial and leiomyoma cells was also studied. Ulipristal acetate decreased INHBA, FST, ActRIIB, and Alk4 mRNA expressions in leiomyoma cultured cells. In addition, UPA was able to block the activin A-induced increase in fibronectin or VEGF-A mRNA expression in myometrial and in leiomyoma cultured cells. The present data show that UPA inhibits activin A expression and functions in leiomyoma cells, and this may represent a possible mechanism of action of the drug on uterine leiomyoma.

Oshima T, Yoshihara K, Aoyama T, et al.
Relation of INHBA gene expression to outcomes in gastric cancer after curative surgery.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(5):2303-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inhibin-βA (INHBA), a ligand belonging to the transforming growth factor-β superfamily, is associated with cell proliferation in cancer. We studied the relations of INHBA gene expression to clinicopathological factors and outcomes in 168 patients with gastric cancer who underwent curative surgery. Relative INHBA gene expression was measured in surgical specimens of cancer tissue and adjacent normal mucosa by quantitative real-time, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. INHBA expression levels were significantly higher in cancer tissue than in adjacent normal mucosa and were related to TNM stage and venous invasion. High INHBA gene expression was associated with significantly poorer 5-year overall survival than was low expression. On multivariate analysis, INHBA gene expression was an independent prognostic factor. Overexpression of the INHBA gene is considered a useful independent predictor of outcomes in patients with gastric cancer after curative surgery.

Hogg K, Robinson WP, Beristain AG
Activation of endocrine-related gene expression in placental choriocarcinoma cell lines following DNA methylation knock-down.
Mol Hum Reprod. 2014; 20(7):677-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increasingly, placental DNA methylation is assessed as a factor in pregnancy-related complications, yet the transcriptional impact of such findings is not always clear. Using a proliferative in vitro placental model, the effect of DNA methylation loss on gene activation was evaluated at a number of genes selected for being differentially methylated in pre-eclampsia-associated placentae in vivo. We aimed to determine whether reduced DNA methylation at specific loci was associated with transcriptional changes at the corresponding gene, thus providing mechanistic underpinnings for previous clinical findings and to assess the degree of transcriptional response amongst our candidate genes. BeWo and JEG3 choriocarcinoma cells were exposed to 1 μM 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-CdR) or vehicle control for 48 h, and re-plated and cultured for a further 72 h in normal media before cells were harvested for RNA and DNA. Bisulphite pyrosequencing confirmed that DNA methylation was reduced by ∼30-50% points at the selected loci studied in both cell lines. Gene activation, measured by qRT-PCR, was highly variable and transcript specific, indicating differential sensitivity to DNA methylation. Most notably, loss of DNA methylation at the leptin (LEP) promoter corresponded to a 200-fold and 40-fold increase in LEP expression in BeWo and JEG3 cells, respectively (P < 0.01). Transcripts of steroidogenic pathway enzymes CYP11A1 and HSD3B1 were up-regulated ∼40-fold in response to 5-Aza-CdR exposure in BeWo cells (P < 0.01). Other transcripts, including aromatase (CYP19), HSD11B2, inhibin (INHBA) and glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) were more moderately, although significantly, affected by loss of associated DNA methylation. These data present a mixed effect of DNA methylation changes at selected loci supporting cautionary interpretation of DNA methylation results in the absence of functional data.

Pesson M, Volant A, Uguen A, et al.
A gene expression and pre-mRNA splicing signature that marks the adenoma-adenocarcinoma progression in colorectal cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e87761 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
It is widely accepted that most colorectal cancers (CRCs) arise from colorectal adenomas (CRAs), but transcriptomic data characterizing the progression from colorectal normal mucosa to adenoma, and then to adenocarcinoma are scarce. These transition steps were investigated using microarrays, both at the level of gene expression and alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Many genes and exons were abnormally expressed in CRAs, even more than in CRCs, as compared to normal mucosae. Known biological pathways involved in CRC were altered in CRA, but several new enriched pathways were also recognized, such as the complement and coagulation cascades. We also identified four intersectional transcriptional signatures that could distinguish CRAs from normal mucosae or CRCs, including a signature of 40 genes differentially deregulated in both CRA and CRC samples. A majority of these genes had been described in different cancers, including FBLN1 or INHBA, but only a few in CRC. Several of these changes were also observed at the protein level. In addition, 20% of these genes (i.e. CFH, CRYAB, DPT, FBLN1, ITIH5, NR3C2, SLIT3 and TIMP1) showed altered pre-mRNA splicing in CRAs. As a global variation occurring since the CRA stage, and maintained in CRC, the expression and splicing changes of this 40-gene set may mark the risk of cancer occurrence from analysis of CRA biopsies.

Tournier I, Marlin R, Walton K, et al.
Germline mutations of inhibins in early-onset ovarian epithelial tumors.
Hum Mutat. 2014; 35(3):294-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To identify novel genetic bases of early-onset epithelial ovarian tumors, we used the trio exome sequencing strategy in a patient without familial history of cancer who presented metastatic serous ovarian adenocarcinomas at 21 years of age. We identified a single de novo mutation (c.1157A>G/p.Asn386Ser) within the INHBA gene encoding the βA-subunit of inhibins/activins, which play a key role in ovarian development. In vitro, this mutation alters the ratio of secreted activins and inhibins. In a second patient with early-onset serous borderline papillary cystadenoma, we identified an unreported germline mutation (c.179G>T/p.Arg60Leu) of the INHA gene encoding the α-subunit, the partner of the βA-subunit. This mutation also alters the secreted activin/inhibin ratio, by disrupting both inhibin A and inhibin B biosynthesis. In a cohort of 62 cases, we detected an additional unreported germline mutation of the INHBA gene (c.839G>A/p.Gly280Glu). Our results strongly suggest that inhibin mutations contribute to the genetic determinism of epithelial ovarian tumors.

Okano M, Yamamoto H, Ohkuma H, et al.
Significance of INHBA expression in human colorectal cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 30(6):2903-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inhibin β A (INHBA) is a member of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) superfamily. INHBA expression is associated with several types of human cancers; however, its significance in colorectal cancer (CRC) is not fully understood. INHBA expression was studied in 126 primary CRC samples and 4 CRC cell lines. Cell growth was assessed after inhibition of INHBA expression or after exogenous overexpression of INHBA in CRC tissues. INHBA expression was significantly higher in CRC tissues when compared to that in the corresponding normal tissues (P<0.001). Patients in the high expression group showed a poorer overall survival rate when compared to those in the low expression group (P<0.001); the present study did not evaluate for an independent prognostic factor but showed the significance of lymph node metastasis as an independent prognostic factor. The present study suggests that INHBA is useful as a predictive marker for prognosis in CRC patients.

Ludwig K, Tse ES, Wang JY
Colon cancer cells adopt an invasive phenotype without mesenchymal transition in 3-D but not 2-D culture upon combined stimulation with EGF and crypt growth factors.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:221 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The intestinal crypt homeostasis is maintained by a combination of growth factors including Wnt, R-Spondin1, Noggin and the epidermal growth factor (EGF). In human colorectal cancer, the Wnt pathway is constitutively activated through genetic and epigenetic alterations in as many as 11 genes encoding components of this crypt stem-cell maintenance mechanism. Although the proliferation of colon cancer cells does not require Wnt, it is possible that colon cancer cells can still respond to the crypt growth factors in the colonic microenvironment. A number of studies have shown that epithelial cells behave differently in 3-D versus 2-D cultures. Because the 3-D conditions more closely mimic the in vivo environment, we examined the effects of Wnt and other crypt growth factors on colon cancer cell growth in 3-D culture.
METHODS: Colon cancer cells were grown in 3-D matrigel supplemented with different combinations of crypt growth factors and colonies were examined for morphology and pathways.
RESULTS: When colon cancer cells were cultured in 3-D with EGF, they grew as round spheroid colonies. However, colon cancer cells also grew as flat, disc-like colonies when cultured with EGF plus Wnt, R-Spondin1 and Noggin. Disc colonies were found to have comparable levels of E-cadherin as the spheroid colonies, but showed decreased E-cadherin at the cell-matrix contact sites. Disc colonies also elaborated F-actin rich protrusions (FRP) at the cell-matrix edge, reminiscent of an invasive phenotype but without the expression of vimentin. These E-cadherin and F-actin alterations were not induced by the four growth factors in 2-D culture. Formation of the disc colonies was inhibited by the knockdown of β-catenin and by protein kinase inhibitors such as gefitinib, imatinib and MK-2206. Furthermore, withdrawal of the crypt growth factors was able to revert the disc colonies to spheroid growth, showing that the invasive phenotype was reversible dependent on the availability of growth factors.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that colon cancer cells remain responsive to the growth factors in the crypt microenvironment and can be induced to undergo morphological transformation in the more physiologically relevant 3-D culture.

Gasi Tandefelt D, Boormans JL, van der Korput HA, et al.
A 36-gene signature predicts clinical progression in a subgroup of ERG-positive prostate cancers.
Eur Urol. 2013; 64(6):941-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The molecular basis of the clinical heterogeneity of prostate cancer (PCa) is not well understood.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of our study was to identify and characterize genes in a clinically relevant gene expression signature in a subgroup of primary PCa positive for transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2)-v-ets erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog (avian) (ERG).
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We studied gene expression profiles by unsupervised hierarchical clustering in 48 primary PCas from patients with a long clinical follow-up. Results were correlated with clinical outcome and validated in an independent patient cohort. Selected genes from a defined classifier were tested in vitro for biologic properties.
INTERVENTION: Initial treatment of primary tumors was radical prostatectomy.
OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Associations between clinical and histopathologic variables were evaluated by the Pearson χ(2) test, Mann-Whitney U test, or Kruskal-Wallis test, where appropriate. The log-rank test or Breslow method was used for statistical analysis of Kaplan-Meier survival curves.
RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Most tumors that overexpressed ERG clustered separately from other primary PCas. No differences in any clinical end points between ERG-positive and ERG-negative cancers were detected. Importantly, within the ERG-positive samples, two subgroups were identified, which differed significantly in prostate-specific antigen recurrence-free survival, and cancer-specific and overall survival. From our findings, we defined a gene expression classifier of 36 genes. In a second, completely independent tumor set, the classifier also distinguished ERG-positive subgroups with different clinical outcome. In both patient cohorts, the classifier was not predictive in ERG-negative tumors. Biologic processes regulated by genes in the classifier included cell adhesion and bone remodeling. Tumor growth factor-β signaling was indicated as the main differing signaling pathway between the two ERG subgroups. In vitro biologic assays of two selected genes from the classifier (inhibin, beta A [INHBA] and cadherin 11, type 2, OB-cadherin (osteoblast) [CDH11]) supported a functional role in PCa progression. Possible multifocality and limited number of PCa samples can be limitations of the study.
CONCLUSIONS: The classifier identified can contribute to prediction of tumor progression in ERG-positive primary prostate tumors and might be instrumental in therapy decisions.

Kashyap MK, Pawar HA, Keerthikumar S, et al.
Evaluation of protein expression pattern of stanniocalcin 2, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7, inhibin beta A and four and a half LIM domains 1 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Cancer Biomark. 2012-2013; 12(1):1-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The pathogenesis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) involves both genetic and environmental factors. Previously, we have carried out gene and protein expression profiling of ESCC using DNA microarrays and mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomics, respectively. These studies resulted in identification of several potential biomarkers of ESCC, some with known reports of differential expression in the scientific literature and others that were novel observations from our studies. We report systematic validation of selected markers from our studies on a larger cohort of cancer tissue sections by immunohistochemical labeling of tissue microarrays. We have validated expression of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7 (IGFBP7), stanniocalcin 2 (STC2), inhibin beta A (INHBA) and four and a half LIM domains 1 (FHL1). Immunohistochemical labeling with anti-stanniocalcin 2 antibody demonstrated its overexpression in 132/140 (94%) cases, IGFBP7 showed overexpression in 127/140 (91%) cases and overexpression of INHBA was observed in 62/105 (59%) of ESCC cases. In contrast, FHL1 expression was observed only in 12/143 (8%) of ESCC cases suggesting its possible involvement in tumor suppression. These data suggest that IGFBP7, INHBA, STC2 and FHL1 might play an important role in ESCC tumorigenesis, which can be explored in future studies. Overall, our findings open up new avenues for development of novel therapeutics and/or diagnostic approaches in ESCC.

Liang H, Cheung LW, Li J, et al.
Whole-exome sequencing combined with functional genomics reveals novel candidate driver cancer genes in endometrial cancer.
Genome Res. 2012; 22(11):2120-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecological malignancy, with more than 280,000 cases occurring annually worldwide. Although previous studies have identified important common somatic mutations in endometrial cancer, they have primarily focused on a small set of known cancer genes and have thus provided a limited view of the molecular basis underlying this disease. Here we have developed an integrated systems-biology approach to identifying novel cancer genes contributing to endometrial tumorigenesis. We first performed whole-exome sequencing on 13 endometrial cancers and matched normal samples, systematically identifying somatic alterations with high precision and sensitivity. We then combined bioinformatics prioritization with high-throughput screening (including both shRNA-mediated knockdown and expression of wild-type and mutant constructs) in a highly sensitive cell viability assay. Our results revealed 12 potential driver cancer genes including 10 tumor-suppressor candidates (ARID1A, INHBA, KMO, TTLL5, GRM8, IGFBP3, AKTIP, PHKA2, TRPS1, and WNT11) and two oncogene candidates (ERBB3 and RPS6KC1). The results in the "sensor" cell line were recapitulated by siRNA-mediated knockdown in endometrial cancer cell lines. Focusing on ARID1A, we integrated mutation profiles with functional proteomics in 222 endometrial cancer samples, demonstrating that ARID1A mutations frequently co-occur with mutations in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway and are associated with PI3K pathway activation. siRNA knockdown in endometrial cancer cell lines increased AKT phosphorylation supporting ARID1A as a novel regulator of PI3K pathway activity. Our study presents the first unbiased view of somatic coding mutations in endometrial cancer and provides functional evidence for diverse driver genes and mutations in this disease.

Hofland J, van Weerden WM, Steenbergen J, et al.
Activin A stimulates AKR1C3 expression and growth in human prostate cancer.
Endocrinology. 2012; 153(12):5726-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Local androgen synthesis in prostate cancer (PC) may contribute to the development of castration-resistant PC (CRPC), but pathways controlling intratumoral steroidogenic enzyme expression in PC are unknown. We investigated the effects of activin, a factor involved in the regulation of PC growth and steroidogenic enzyme expression in other steroidogenic tissues, on intratumoral steroidogenesis in PC. Activin A effects and regulation of the activin-signaling pathway molecules were studied in the PC cell lines LNCaP, VCaP, and PC-3 and in 13 individual PC xenograft models. Also, expression levels of inhibin βA- and βB-subunits (INHBA and INHBB) and of the activin antagonist follistatin were quantitated in patient PC tissues. Activin A induced the expression and enzyme activity of 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzyme AKR1C3 in LNCaP and VCaP cells. Inhibition of endogenous activin A action in the PC-3 cell line decreased AKR1C3 levels and consequently testosterone synthesis. In return, androgens suppressed INHBA expression in both VCaP cells and the PC xenograft models. The antiproliferative effects of activin A were opposed by physiological concentrations of androstenedione in LNCaP cells. In patient PC tissues, expression levels of INHBA were increased in CRPC samples and correlated with AKR1C3 levels. Moreover, a high ratio of activin subunits to follistatin was associated with a worse metastasis-free survival in patients. In conclusion, activin A is controlled by androgens in PC models and regulates local androgen production. Activin A thus seems to mediate (residual) intratumoral androgen levels and could form a novel therapeutic target in CRPC.

Pan J, Xue Y, Chen S, et al.
Establishment and characterization of a new human acute myelomonocytic leukemia cell line JIH-3.
Leuk Res. 2012; 36(7):889-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Here, a new acute myelomonocytic leukemia (AMML) cell line, JIH-3, is reported, and its biological characteristics are described. JIH-3 cells were maintained without any cytokines for 27 months. The JIH-3 cell line showed typical myelomonocytic morphological features. Additionally, it mainly expressed myeloid and monocytic markers (CD13, CD14, CD11b, CD15 and CD33), although it also expressed other antigens such as the markers of T and B lymphocytic lineage as well as stem cell, progenitor cell, and natural killer cell-related antigens (CD4, CD5, CD7, CD10, CD22, CD34, CD38, HLADR, CD16/CD56 and CD56); the expression of these markers, suggested that this cell line was in the early stage of myelomonocytic differentiation. Cytogenetic analysis initially showed a karyotype of 46, XY, del(7) (p1?3p2?2). During the passage period, the cells with this karyotype gradually decreased and were replaced by cells with a 45,XY,dic(4;7)(p11;p11),del(15)(q2?2) karyotype. Chromosome painting showed a deletion in the short arm of chromosome 7 for del(7)(p1?3p2?2) and der(4;7)(p11;p11). The latter had larger deleted segment than the former. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) revealed the dicentric nature of der(4;7), and Multiplex FISH (M-FISH) confirmed that der(4;7) was an unbalanced translocation. A deletion involving the 7p region on dic(4;7)(p11;p11) harbors many genes, including CDC2L5, C7ORF11, C7ORF10 and INHBA. Haploinsufficiency of the genes on 4p, 7p and 15q caused by deletions of 4p, 7p and 15q2?2 that resulted from dic(4;7)(p11;p11) and del(15)(q2?2) may play important roles in leukemogenesis and in the establishment of the JIH-3 cell line. JIH-3 cells did not express multidrug resistance (MDR)-related genes and apoptosis-related genes such as MDR1, multidrug resistance-related protein, lung resistance protein, BCL-2, Bax, GS-π or Fax, only P21 expression was detected, which probably leads the MDR indirectly through inhibition of the activities of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK). JIH-3 cells had tumorigenic capacity in nude mice. In conclusion, JIH-3 is a new acute myelomonocytic leukemia cell line. It is from a well-characterized background and provides a new useful tool for the study of leukemia patients with a 7p deletion.

Wang Q, Wen YG, Li DP, et al.
Upregulated INHBA expression is associated with poor survival in gastric cancer.
Med Oncol. 2012; 29(1):77-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Expression microarrays are widely used for investigating the candidate molecular targets in human cancer. While genome-wide expression signatures screened by gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) were not performed in Chinese gastric cancer (GC). To gain new molecular targets for GC, GSEA analysis was performed. In the present study, GSEA were used to pick out differentially expressed gene sets of our database. Total RNA of paired tissue samples (n = 48) and a tissue microarray containing 132 paired tissues were used to further validate expression levels of INHBA and its correction with clinicopathological factors. Upregulated INHBA expression in gastric cancer was screened and further confirmed by qPCR and immunostaining analysis. Increased INHBA expression was significantly correlated with the diameter of cancer and depth of tumor invasion. Patients with higher expression levels of INHBA had a shorter disease-free survival rate. It was effective to gain new molecular targets for GC by GSEA analysis. INHBA may be a poor survival indicator of GC.

Kim H, Watkinson J, Varadan V, Anastassiou D
Multi-cancer computational analysis reveals invasion-associated variant of desmoplastic reaction involving INHBA, THBS2 and COL11A1.
BMC Med Genomics. 2010; 3:51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Despite extensive research, the details of the biological mechanisms by which cancer cells acquire motility and invasiveness are largely unknown. This study identifies an invasion associated gene signature shedding light on these mechanisms.
METHODS: We analyze data from multiple cancers using a novel computational method identifying sets of genes whose coordinated overexpression indicates the presence of a particular phenotype, in this case high-stage cancer.
RESULTS: We conclude that there is one shared "core" metastasis-associated gene expression signature corresponding to a specific variant of stromal desmoplastic reaction, present in a large subset of samples that have exceeded a threshold of invasive transition specific to each cancer, indicating that the corresponding biological mechanism is triggered at that point. For example this threshold is reached at stage IIIc in ovarian cancer and at stage II in colorectal cancer. Therefore, its presence indicates that the corresponding stage has been reached. It has several features, such as coordinated overexpression of particular collagens, mainly COL11A1 and other genes, mainly THBS2 and INHBA. The composition of the overexpressed genes indicates invasion-facilitating altered proteolysis in the extracellular matrix. The prominent presence in the signature of INHBA in all cancers strongly suggests a biological mechanism centered on activin A induced TGF-β signaling, because activin A is a member of the TGF-β superfamily consisting of an INHBA homodimer. Furthermore, we establish that the signature is predictive of neoadjuvant therapy response in at least one breast cancer data set.
CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, these results can be used for developing high specificity biomarkers sensing cancer invasion and predicting response to neoadjuvant therapy, as well as potential multi-cancer metastasis inhibiting therapeutics targeting the corresponding biological mechanism.

Zhang DF, Li XG, Su LJ, Meng QL
Expression of activin A and follistatin in glioblastoma and their effects on U87 in vitro.
J Int Med Res. 2010 Jul-Aug; 38(4):1343-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
In some cancer cell lines, the gene encoding activin A (inhibin βA [INHBA]) is over-expressed and enhances cancer proliferation. Protein levels of activin A and follistatin were assessed in glioblastoma and normal brain tissues in this study, and the effect of activin A and follistatin treatment on the proliferation of U87 human glioblastoma cells in vitro was also studied. High levels of activin A were observed in glioblastomas compared with normal brain tissue. In contrast, follistatin levels were similar between the two tissues. [(3)H]Thymidine assay showed that activin A (3 - 30 ng/ml) produced a dose-dependent increase in DNA synthesis of U87 cells compared with controls. Flow cytometric analyses showed that activin A increased the proliferative index of U87 cells compared with controls. Activin A also induced up-regulation of p-SMAD2/3 in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of U87 cells with follistatin blocked these activin A-induced effects. The disequilibrium between activin A and follistatin may play a role in the development of glioblastoma.

Lascorz J, Försti A, Chen B, et al.
Genome-wide association study for colorectal cancer identifies risk polymorphisms in German familial cases and implicates MAPK signalling pathways in disease susceptibility.
Carcinogenesis. 2010; 31(9):1612-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genetic susceptibility accounts for approximately 35% of all colorectal cancer (CRC). Ten common low-risk variants contributing to CRC risk have been identified through genome-wide association studies (GWASs). In our GWAS, 610 664 genotyped single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) passed the quality control filtering in 371 German familial CRC patients and 1263 controls, and replication studies were conducted in four additional case-control sets (4915 cases and 5607 controls). Known risk loci at 8q24.21 and 11q23 were confirmed, and a previously unreported association, rs12701937, located between the genes GLI3 (GLI family zinc finger 3) and INHBA (inhibin, beta A) [P = 1.1 x 10(-3), odds ratio (OR) 1.14, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-1.23, dominant model in the combined cohort], was identified. The association was stronger in familial cases compared with unselected cases (P = 2.0 x 10(-4), OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.16-1.60, dominant model). Two other unreported SNPs, rs6038071, 40 kb upstream of CSNK2A1 (casein kinase 2, alpha 1 polypeptide) and an intronic marker in MYO3A (myosin IIIA), rs11014993, associated with CRC only in the familial CRC cases (P = 2.5 x 10(-3), recessive model, and P = 2.7 x 10(-4), dominant model). Three software tools successfully pointed to the overrepresentation of genes related to the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathways among the 1340 most strongly associated markers from the GWAS (allelic P value < 10(-3)). The risk of CRC increased significantly with an increasing number of risk alleles in seven genes involved in MAPK signalling events (P(trend) = 2.2 x 10(-16), OR(per allele) = 1.34, 95% CI 1.11-1.61).

Hong SB, Oh H, Valera VA, et al.
Tumor suppressor FLCN inhibits tumorigenesis of a FLCN-null renal cancer cell line and regulates expression of key molecules in TGF-beta signaling.
Mol Cancer. 2010; 9:160 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Germline mutations in the FLCN gene are responsible for the development of fibrofolliculomas, lung cysts and renal neoplasia in Birt-Hogg-Dube' (BHD) syndrome. The encoded protein folliculin (FLCN) is conserved across species but contains no classic motifs or domains and its function remains unknown. Somatic mutations or loss of heterozygosity in the remaining wild type copy of the FLCN gene have been found in renal tumors from BHD patients suggesting that FLCN is a classic tumor suppressor gene.
RESULTS: To examine the tumor suppressor function of FLCN, wild-type or mutant FLCN (H255R) was stably expressed in a FLCN-null renal tumor cell line, UOK257, derived from a BHD patient. When these cells were injected into nude mice, tumor development was inversely dependent upon the level of wild-type FLCN expression. We identified genes that were differentially expressed in the cell lines with or without wild-type FLCN, many of which are involved in TGF-beta signaling, including TGF-beta2 (TGFB2), inhibin beta A chain (INHBA), thrombospondin 1 (THBS1), gremlin (GREM1), and SMAD3. In support of the in vitro data, TGFB2, INHBA, THBS1 and SMAD3 expression levels were significantly lower in BHD-associated renal tumors compared with normal kidney tissue. Although receptor mediated SMAD phosphorylation was not affected, basal and maximal TGF-beta-induced levels of TGFB2, INHBA and SMAD7 were dramatically reduced in FLCN-null cells compared with FLCN-restored cells. Secreted TGF-beta2 and activin A (homo-dimer of INHBA) protein levels were also lower in FLCN-null cells compared with FLCN-restored cells. Consistent with a growth suppressive function, activin A (but not TGF-beta2) completely suppressed anchorage-independent growth of FLCN-null UOK257 cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate a role for FLCN in the regulation of key molecules in TGF-beta signaling and confirm deregulation of their expression in BHD-associated renal tumors. Thus, deregulation of genes involved in TGF-beta signaling by FLCN inactivation is likely to be an important step for tumorigenesis in BHD syndrome.

Zhang X, Yang JJ, Kim YS, et al.
An 8-gene signature, including methylated and down-regulated glutathione peroxidase 3, of gastric cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2010; 36(2):405-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have identified an 8-gene signature with significant expression differences between gastric cancer and normal gastric tissues. This 8-gene set can predict the normal and cancer status of gastric tissues with more than 96% accuracy in a totally independent microarray dataset. The 8 genes are composed of down-regulated KLF4, GPX3, SST and LIPF, together with up-regulated SERPINH1, THY1 and INHBA in gastric cancer. To corroborate the differential gene expression pattern, we chose GPX3 and examined its expression pattern in detail. A comparison of GPX3 expression pattern shows a broader down-regulated pattern in multiple types of cancers, including cervical, thyroid, head and neck, lung cancers and melanoma than in healthy controls. An immuno-histostaining analysis in tissue microarrays confirms GPX3 down-regulation in gastric cancer. Mechanism-wise GPX3 down-regulation in gastric cancer is due to promoter hypermethylation. Collectively, these results show a correct identification of 8 genes as gastric cancer biomarkers.

Seder CW, Hartojo W, Lin L, et al.
Upregulated INHBA expression may promote cell proliferation and is associated with poor survival in lung adenocarcinoma.
Neoplasia. 2009; 11(4):388-96 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The expression, mechanisms of regulation, and functional impact of INHBA (activin A) in lung adenocarcinoma (AD) have not been fully elucidated.
METHODS: INHBA expression was examined in 96 lung samples (86 ADs, 10 normal lung) using oligonucleotide microarrays and 187 lung samples (164 ADs, 6 bronchioalveolar carcinomas, and 17 normal lung) using immunohistochemistry. The proliferation of AD cell lines H460 and SKLU1 was examined with WST-1 assays after treatment with recombinant activin A, follistatin, and INHBA-targeting small-interfering RNA. Cells were also treated with 5-aza-2' deoxycytidine and trichostatin A to investigate the role of epigenetic regulation in INHBA expression.
RESULTS: Primary ADs expressed 3.1 times more INHBA mRNA than normal lung. In stage I AD patients, high levels of primary tumor INHBA transcripts were associated with worse prognosis. Immunohistochemistry confirmed higher inhibin betaA protein expression in ADs (78.7%) and bronchioalveolar carcinomas (66.7%) compared with normal lung (11.8%). H460 and SKLU1 demonstrated increased proliferation when treated with exogenous activin A and reduced proliferation when treated with follistatin or INHBA-targeting small-interfering RNA. INHBA mRNA expression in H460 cells was upregulated after treatment with trichostatin A and 5-aza-2' deoxycytidine.
CONCLUSIONS: INHBA is overexpressed in AD relative to controls. Inhibin betaA may promote cell proliferation, and its overexpression is associated with worse survival in stage I AD patients. In addition, overexpression of INHBA may be affected by promoter methylation and histone acetylation in a subset of lung ADs.

Takeno A, Takemasa I, Doki Y, et al.
Integrative approach for differentially overexpressed genes in gastric cancer by combining large-scale gene expression profiling and network analysis.
Br J Cancer. 2008; 99(8):1307-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gene expression profiling is a valuable tool for identifying differentially expressed genes in studies of disease subtype and patient outcome for various cancers. However, it remains difficult to assign biological significance to the vast number of genes. There is an increasing awareness of gene expression profile as an important part of the contextual molecular network at play in complex biological processes such as cancer initiation and progression. This study analysed the transcriptional profiles commonly activated at different stages of gastric cancers using an integrated approach combining gene expression profiling of 222 human tissues and gene regulatory dynamic mapping. We focused on an inferred core network with CDKN1A (p21(WAF1/CIP1)) as the hub, and extracted seven candidates for gastric carcinogenesis (MMP7, SPARC, SOD2, INHBA, IGFBP7, NEK6, LUM). They were classified into two groups based on the correlation between expression level and stage. The seven genes were commonly activated and their expression levels tended to increase as disease progressed. NEK6 and INHBA are particularly promising candidate genes overexpressed at the protein level, as confirmed by immunohistochemistry and western blotting. This integrated approach could help to identify candidate players in gastric carcinogenesis and progression. These genes are potential markers of gastric cancer regardless of stage.

Purdue MP, Graubard BI, Chanock SJ, et al.
Genetic variation in the inhibin pathway and risk of testicular germ cell tumors.
Cancer Res. 2008; 68(8):3043-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gene-knockout studies in mice suggest that INHA, encoding a subunit of gonadotropin-regulating proteins known as inhibins, is a tumor suppressor for testicular stromal cell tumors. It is not known whether genetic variation in the inhibin pathway also influences susceptibility to testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), the most common testicular cancer in young men. To address this question, we conducted a case-control analysis (577 cases; 707 controls) of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in genes in the inhibin pathway among participants in the U.S. Servicemen's Testicular Tumor Environmental and Endocrine Determinants Study. Thirty-eight tagging SNPs in six genes (INHA, INHBA, INHBB, INHBC, INHBE, and SMAD4) were genotyped. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) relating variant genotypes to TGCT risk were calculated using unconditional logistic regression. Among White subjects, an elevated risk of TGCT was observed for carriers of the T allele of the INHA variant rs2059693 (CT genotype: OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.04-1.71; TT: OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.01-2.52; P(trend) = 0.008). The association with rs2059693 was stronger for nonseminomas, and for teratomas and teratocarcinomas in particular (N = 58; CT: OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 0.89-2.99; TT: OR, 4.54; 95% CI 2.00-10.3; P(trend) = 0.0008). We found no evidence of association with variants in the other investigated genes. These findings suggest that genetic variation in the INHA locus influences TGCT development.

Ye H, Yu T, Temam S, et al.
Transcriptomic dissection of tongue squamous cell carcinoma.
BMC Genomics. 2008; 9:69 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The head and neck/oral squamous cell carcinoma (HNOSCC) is a diverse group of cancers, which develop from many different anatomic sites and are associated with different risk factors and genetic characteristics. The oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC) is one of the most common types of HNOSCC. It is significantly more aggressive than other forms of HNOSCC, in terms of local invasion and spread. In this study, we aim to identify specific transcriptomic signatures that associated with OTSCC.
RESULTS: Genome-wide transcriptomic profiles were obtained for 53 primary OTSCCs and 22 matching normal tissues. Genes that exhibit statistically significant differences in expression between OTSCCs and normal were identified. These include up-regulated genes (MMP1, MMP10, MMP3, MMP12, PTHLH, INHBA, LAMC2, IL8, KRT17, COL1A2, IFI6, ISG15, PLAU, GREM1, MMP9, IFI44, CXCL1), and down-regulated genes (KRT4, MAL, CRNN, SCEL, CRISP3, SPINK5, CLCA4, ADH1B, P11, TGM3, RHCG, PPP1R3C, CEACAM7, HPGD, CFD, ABCA8, CLU, CYP3A5). The expressional difference of IL8 and MMP9 were further validated by real-time quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. The Gene Ontology analysis suggested a number of altered biological processes in OTSCCs, including enhancements in phosphate transport, collagen catabolism, I-kappaB kinase/NF-kappaB signaling cascade, extracellular matrix organization and biogenesis, chemotaxis, as well as suppressions of superoxide release, hydrogen peroxide metabolism, cellular response to hydrogen peroxide, keratinization, and keratinocyte differentiation in OTSCCs.
CONCLUSION: In summary, our study provided a transcriptomic signature for OTSCC that may lead to a diagnosis or screen tool and provide the foundation for further functional validation of these specific candidate genes for OTSCC.

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