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Cancer Res. 2004 Dec 15;64(24):8846-53.

A differential gene expression profile reveals overexpression of RUNX1/AML1 in invasive endometrioid carcinoma.

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  • 1Unitat de Recerca Biomèdica, Institut de Recerca del Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Spain.


Endometrial carcinoma is the most common gynecological malignant disease in industrialized countries. Two clinicopathological types of endometrial carcinoma have been described, based on estrogen relation and grade: endometrioid carcinoma (EEC) and non-EEC (NEEC). Some of the molecular events that occur during the development of endometrial carcinoma have been characterized, showing a dualistic genetic model for EEC and NEEC. However, the molecular bases for endometrial tumorigenesis are not clearly elucidated. In the present work, we attempted to identify new genes that could trigger cell transformation in EEC. We analyzed the differential gene expression profile between tumoral and nontumoral endometrial specimens with cDNA array hybridization. Among the 53 genes for which expression was found to be altered in EEC, the acute myeloid leukemia proto-oncogene, RUNX1/AML1, was one of the most highly up-regulated. The gene expression levels of RUNX1/AML1 were quantified by real-time quantitative PCR, and protein levels were characterized by tissue array immunohistochemistry. Real-time quantitative PCR validated RUNX1/AML1 up-regulation in EEC and demonstrated a specific and significantly stronger up-regulation in those tumor stages associated with myometrial invasion. Furthermore, tissue array immunohistochemistry showed that RUNX1/AML1 up-regulation correlates to the process of tumorigenesis, from normal atrophic endometrium to simple and complex hyperplasia and then, on to carcinoma. These results demonstrate for the first time the up-regulation of RUNX1/AML1 in EEC correlating with the initial steps of myometrial infiltration.

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