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Accession IconGSE9574

Gene expression abnormalities in histologically normal breast epithelium of breast cancer patients

Organism Icon Homo sapiens
Sample Icon 29 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Human Genome U133A Array (hgu133a)

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Normal-appearing epithelium of cancer patients can harbor occult genetic abnormalities. Data comprehensively comparing gene expression between histologically normal breast epithelium of breast cancer patients and cancer-free controls are limited. The present study compares global gene expression between these groups. We performed microarrays using RNA from microdissected histologically normal terminal ductal-lobular units (TDLU) from 2 groups: (i) cancer normal (CN) (TDLUs adjacent to untreated ER1 breast cancers (n = 14)) and (ii) reduction mammoplasty (RM) (TDLUs of age-matched women without breast disease (n = 15)). Cyber-T identi?ed differentially expressed genes. Quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), immunohistochemistry (IHC), and comparison to independent microarray data including 6 carcinomas in situ (CIS), validated the results. Gene ontology (GO), UniProt and published literature evaluated gene function. About 127 probesets, corresponding to 105 genes, were differentially expressed between CN and RM (p < 0.0009, corresponding to FDR <0.10). 104/127 (82%) probesets were also differentially expressed between CIS and RM, nearly always (102/104 (98%)) in the same direction as in CN vs. RM. Two-thirds of the 105 genes were implicated previously in carcinogenesis. Overrepresented functional groups included transcription, G-protein coupled and chemokine receptor activity, the MAPK cascade and immediate early genes. Most genes in these categories were under-expressed in CN vs. RM. We conclude that global gene expression abnormalities exist in normal epithelium of breast cancer patients and are also present in early cancers. Thus, cancer-related pathways may be perturbed in normal epithelium. These abnormalities could be markers of disease risk, occult disease, or the tissues response to an existing tumor.
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