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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Aug 7;104(32):13122-7. Epub 2007 Jul 30.

Genes overexpressed in different human solid cancers exhibit different tissue-specific expression profiles.

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Department of Physics of Complex Systems, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.

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  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Sep 18;104(38):15168. Bock-Axelsen, Jacob [corrected to Bock, Jacob Bock].


We have analyzed gene expression in different normal human tissues and different types of solid cancers derived from these tissues. The cancers analyzed include brain (astrocytoma and glioblastoma), breast, colon, endometrium, kidney, liver, lung, ovary, prostate, skin, and thyroid cancers. Comparing gene expression in each normal tissue to 12 other normal tissues, we identified 4,917 tissue-selective genes that were selectively expressed in different normal tissues. We also identified 2,929 genes that are overexpressed at least 4-fold in the cancers compared with the normal tissue from which these cancers were derived. The overlap between these two gene groups identified 1,340 tissue-selective genes that are overexpressed in cancers. Different types of cancers, including different brain cancers arising from the same lineage, showed differences in the tissue-selective genes they overexpressed. Melanomas overexpressed the highest number of brain-selective genes and this may contribute to melanoma metastasis to the brain. Of all of the genes with tissue-selective expression, those selectively expressed in testis showed the highest frequency of genes that are overexpressed in at least two types of cancer. However, colon and prostate cancers did not overexpress any testis-selective gene. Nearly all of the genes with tissue-selective expression that are overexpressed in cancers showed selective expression in tissues different from the cancers' tissue of origin. Cancers aberrantly expressing such genes may acquire phenotypic alterations that contribute to cancer cell viability, growth, and metastasis.

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