Background: Most patients with ovarian cancer are diagnosed with advanced stage disease (i.e., stage III-IV), which is associated with a poor prognosis. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in stage III serous ovarian carcinoma compared to normal tissue were screened by a new differential display method, the annealing control primer (ACP) system. The potential targets for markers that could be used for diagnosis and prognosis, for stage III serous ovarian cancer, were found by cluster and survival analysis.
Methods: The ACP-based reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) technique was used to identify DEGs in patients with stage III serous ovarian carcinoma. The DEGs identified by the ACP system were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. Cluster analysis was performed on the basis of the expression profile produced by quantitative real-time PCR and survival analysis was carried out by the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards multivariate model; the results of gene expression were compared between chemo-resistant and chemo-sensitive groups.
Results: A total of 114 DEGs were identified by the ACP-based RT PCR technique among patients with stage III serous ovarian carcinoma. The DEGs associated with an apoptosis inhibitory process tended to be up-regulated clones while the DEGs associated with immune response tended to be down-regulated clones. Cluster analysis of the gene expression profile obtained by quantitative real-time PCR revealed two contrasting groups of DEGs. That is, a group of genes including: SSBP1, IFI6 DDT, IFI27, C11orf92, NFKBIA, TNXB, NEAT1 and TFG were up-regulated while another group of genes consisting of: LAMB2, XRCC6, MEF2C, RBM5, FOXP1, NUDCP2, LGALS3, TMEM185A, and C1S were down-regulated in most patients. Survival analysis revealed that the up-regulated genes such as DDAH2, RNase K and TCEAL2 might be associated with a poor prognosis. Furthermore, the prognosis of patients with chemo-resistance was predicted to be very poor when genes such as RNase K, FOXP1, LAMB2 and MRVI1 were up-regulated.
Conclusion: The DEGs in patients with stage III serous ovarian cancer were successfully and reliably identified by the ACP-based RT PCR technique. The DEGs identified in this study might help predict the prognosis of patients with stage III serous ovarian cancer as well as suggest targets for the development of new treatment regimens.