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Int J Cancer. 2003 May 10;104(6):699-708.

Profile of gene expression induced by the tumour promotor TPA in murine epithelial cells.

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Division of Molecular Genetics, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, Germany.


Malignant transformation of mouse skin by chemical carcinogens and tumour promoters, such as the phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), is a multistage process that leads to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) formation. In an effort to identify tumour-associated genes, we studied the influence of short-term TPA-treatment on the gene expression profile of murine skin. A comprehensive microarray with some 5,000 murine gene specific cDNA fragments was established and hybridised with pooled RNA derived from control and TPA-treated dorsal skin samples. Of these genes, 54 were up- and 35 were down-regulated upon TPA application. Additionally, we performed suppression subtractive hybridisation (SSH) with respective RNA pools to generate and analyse a cDNA library enriched for TPA-inducible genes. Expression data of selected genes were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR and Northern blot analysis. Comparison of microarray and SSH data revealed that 26% of up-regulated genes identified by expression profiling matched with those present in the SSH library. Besides numerous known genes, we identified a large set of unknown cDNAs that represent previously unrecognised TPA-regulated genes in murine skin with potential function in tumour promotion. Additionally, some TPA-induced genes, such as Sprr1A, Saa3, JunB, Il4ralpha, Gp38, RalGDS and Slpi exhibit high basal level in advanced stages of skin carcinogenesis, suggesting that at least a subgroup of the identified TPA-regulated genes may contribute to tumour progression and metastasis.

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