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Accession IconGSE39612

Distinct gene expression profiles of viral- and non-viral associated Merkel cell carcinoma revealed by transcriptome analysis

Organism Icon Homo sapiens
Sample Icon 132 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Array (hgu133plus2)

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Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive cutaneous neuroendocrine tumor with high mortality rates. Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV), identified in the majority of MCC, may drive tumorigenesis via viral T antigens. However, mechanisms underlying pathogenesis in MCPyV-negative MCC remain poorly understood. To nominate genes contributing to pathogenesis of MCPyV-negative MCC, we performed DNA microarray analysis on 30 MCCs. MCPyV status of MCCs was determined by PCR for viral DNA and RNA. 1593 probe-sets were differentially expressed between MCPyV-negative and -positive MCC, with significant differential expression defined as at least 2-fold change in either direction and p-value of 0.05. MCPyV-negative tumors showed decreased RB1 expression, whereas MCPyV-positive tumors were enriched for immune response genes. Validation studies included immunohistochemistry demonstration of decreased RB protein expression in MCPyV-negative tumors and increased peritumoral CD8+ T lymphocytes surrounding MCPyV-positive tumors. In conclusion, our data suggest that loss of RB1 expression may play an important role in tumorigenesis of MCPyV-negative MCC. Functional and clinical validation studies are needed to determine whether this tumor suppressor pathway represents an avenue for targeted therapy.
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