Background: The characterization of differentially expressed genes between cancerous and normal tissues is an important step in the understanding of tumorigenesis. Global gene expression profiling with microarrays has now offered a powerful tool to measure the changes of thousands of genes in any carcinoma tissues in an effort to identify these key disease-related genes. To compare the gene expression of a primary liver carcinoma, metastatic carcinoma to the liver, and normal liver, the authors analyzed tissue from six primary hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs), five colorectal adenocarcinoma metastases to the liver, and eight normal livers.
Methods: Samples were processed from total RNA to fragmented cRNA and hybridized onto Affymetrix GeneChip(R) expression arrays. Analyses were performed to determine the consensus pattern of gene expression for primary liver carcinoma, metastatic liver carcinoma, and normal liver tissue and their changes in expression level.
Results: In hepatocellular carcinoma, 842 genes were overexpressed, and 393 genes were underexpressed in comparison with genes of normal liver tissue. Of note, 7 of the 20 most increased identified known genes previously have been associated with liver carcinoma or other types of cancers. The 13 additional identified genes until now have not previously shown strong association with cancers. Furthermore, the authors identified 42 genes and 24 expressed sequence tags that are expressed at a significant level in both HCC and metastastic tumors, presenting a list of marker genes indicative of cancerous liver tissue.
Conclusions: In this study, genes that can be involved in the production of and maintenance of hepatic carcinomas were identified. These data offer new insight into genes that are potentially important in the pathogenesis of liver carcinoma, as well as additional targets for new strategies for cancer therapy and treatment.
Copyright 2001 American Cancer Society.