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Oncogene. 2002 Apr 25;21(18):2926-37.

Identification, using cDNA macroarray analysis, of distinct gene expression profiles associated with pathological and virological features of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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INSERM U370, CHU Necker/Institut Pasteur, 75015, Paris, France.


It is still unclear as to whether the gene expression profile in HCV- or HBV-related HCC exhibits a degree of specificity and whether the development of HCC in a context of cirrhosis influences this gene profile. To address these issues, the expression profiles of 15 cases of HCC were analysed using cDNA macroarray. A global analysis and hierarchical clustering, demonstrated the heterogeneity of HCC patterns, with a majority of down-regulated genes. Statistical analysis clearly showed a distinction between the gene expression profiles of HCV- and HBV-related HCC. HBV-associated HCC exhibited involvement of different cellular pathways, those controlling apoptosis, p53 signalling and G1/S transition. In HCV-related HCC we identified a more heterogenous pattern with an over-expression of the TGF-beta induced gene. In HCC developing on non-cirrhotic tissues, beta-catenin encoding gene and genes implicated in the PKC pathway were specifically up-regulated. In addition, our investigation highlighted a distinct profiles of TGF-beta superfamily encoding genes in well, moderately or poorly differentiated HCC. Overall, our study supports the hypothesis that despite the heterogeneity of the HCC pattern, the large-scale screening of gene expression may provide data significant to our understanding of the mechanism of liver carcinogenesis.

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