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Mol Med Rep. 2014 May;9(5):1597-605. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2014.2003. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

Pilot genome-wide study of tandem 3' UTRs in esophageal cancer using high-throughput sequencing.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Laboratory, Affiliated Yancheng Hospital, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Yancheng, Jiangsu 224001, P.R. China.


Regulatory regions within the 3' untranslated region (UTR) influence polyadenylation (polyA), translation efficiency, localization and stability of mRNA. Alternative polyA (APA) has been considered to have a key role in gene regulation since 2008. Esophageal carcinoma is the eighth most common type of cancer worldwide. The association between polyA and disease highlights the requirement for comprehensive characterization of genome-wide polyA profiles. In the present study, global polyA profiles were established using the sequencing APA sites (SAPAS) method in order to elucidate the interrelation between 3' UTR length and the development of esophageal cancer. PolyA profiles were analyzed in squamous cell carcinoma, with ~903 genes identified to have shortened 3' UTRs and 917 genes identified to use distal polyA sites. The genes with shortened 3' UTRs were primarily associated with adherens junctions and the cell cycle. Four differentially expressed genes were also found, among which three genes were observed to be upregulated in cancerous tissue and involved in the positive regulation of cell motion, migration and locomotion. One gene was found to be downregulated in cancerous tissue, and associated with oxidative phosphorylation. These findings suggest that esophagitis may have a key role in the development of esophageal carcinoma. Furthermore, the genes with tandem 3' UTRs and differential expression identified in the present study may have the potential to be used as biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of esophageal cancer.

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