Tumors derived from rat C6 cell implants into rat brain exhibit similar morphological characteristics and degree of vascularization to human glioblastomas. To establish a molecular basis for C6 gliosarcoma malignancy, we have constructed a molecular profile of the most abundantly expressed genes, using serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE). Sequence tags (1168) representing 738 individual transcripts were collected and tag-to-gene mapping was carried out using the UniGene data set for rat. Differentially expressed C6 transcripts were identified by comparison of tags collected for C6 cells with a similar number (1002) of tags from a rat primary astrocyte library. Genes found to be expressed at increased levels in C6 cells are associated with cell surface interactions, migration, or metastasis formation and proliferation. These include the receptor for hyaluronan-mediated motility (RHAMM), S-100 related protein 42A, galectin I, preproenkephalin, osteopontin, autocrine motility factor, alpha-tubulin, ad1 antigen, and cofilin. In addition, a tag with no database match probably representing a previously uncharacterized transcript was differentially expressed in C6 cells. Transcripts showing reduced expression in C6 cells relative to astrocytes included the extracellular matrix glycoprotein osteonectin/SPARC (secreted protein, acidic, rich in cysteine), actin-binding proteins thymosins beta-4 and beta-10, the cysteine protease inhibitor cystatin C, the actin-gelling protein SM22/transgelin, and ferritin-H. SAGE results were confirmed by Northern blot for all transcripts tested, reaffirming the value of the SAGE technique for expression profiling in cancer biology.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.