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Oncogene. 2005 Feb 24;24(9):1533-41.

Altered expression of cell cycle genes distinguishes aggressive neuroblastoma.

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Oncogenomics Section, Pediatric Oncology Branch, Advanced Technology Center, National Cancer Institute, 8717 Grovemont Circle, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, USA.


In this study, gene expression profiling was performed on 103 neuroblastoma (NB) tumors, stages 1-4 with and without MYCN amplification, using cDNA microarrays containing 42,578 elements. Using principal component analysis (PCA) to analyse the relationships among these samples, we confirm that the global patterns of gene expression reflect the phenotype of the tumors. To explore the biological processes that may contribute to increasing aggressive phenotype of the tumors, we utilized a statistical approach based on PCA. We identified a specific subset of the cell cycle and/or chromosome segregation genes that distinguish stage 4 NB tumors from all lower stage tumors, including stage 3. Furthermore, the control of the kinetochore assembly emerges from the Gene Ontology analysis as one of the key biological processes associated with an aggressive NB phenotype. Finally, we establish that these genes are further upregulated in the most aggressive MYCN-amplified tumors.

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