Pancreatic cancer is a highly aggressive type of malignancy and the prognosis for disease presenting typically at a late stage is extremely poor. A comprehensive understanding of its molecular genetics is required in order to develop new approaches to clinical management. To date, serial analysis of gene expression and more recently oligo/cDNA microarray technologies have been employed in order to identify genes involved in pancreatic neoplasia that can be developed as diagnostic markers and drug targets for this dismal disease. This study describes the expression profile obtained from 20 pancreatic cell lines using cDNA microarrays containing 9,932 human gene elements. Numerous genes were identified as being differentially expressed, some of which have been previously implicated in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (S100P, S100A4, prostate stem cell antigen, lipocalin 2, claudins 3 and 4, trefoil factors 1 and 2) as well as several novel genes. The differentially expressed genes identified are involved in a variety of cellular functions, including control of transcription, regulation of the cell cycle, proteolysis, cell adhesion and signaling. Validation of our array results was performed by exploring the SAGEmap database and by immunohistochemistry for a selection of 4 genes that have not previously been studied in pancreatic cancer: anterior gradient 2 homologue (Xenopus laevis), insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 and 4 and Forkhead box J1. Immunostaining was performed using pancreas-specific tissue microarrays containing core biopsies from 305 clinical specimens. In addition, using statistical group comparison and hierarchical clustering, a selection of genes was identified that may be linked to the site of metastasis from which these cell lines were isolated.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.