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Cancers (Basel). 2020 Mar 19;12(3). pii: E722. doi: 10.3390/cancers12030722.

Integrative Analyses of Multilevel Omics Reveal Preneoplastic Breast to Possess a Molecular Landscape That is Globally Shared with Invasive Basal-Like Breast Cancer (Running Title: Molecular Landscape of Basal-Like Breast Cancer Progression).

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Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Department of Breast Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


To characterize molecular changes accompanying the stepwise progression to breast cancer and to identify functional target pathways, we performed miRNA and RNA sequencing using MCF10A cell lines based model system that replicates the multi-step progression involving normal, preneoplastic, ductal carcinoma in situ, and invasive carcinoma cells, where the carcinoma most resemble the basal-like subgroup of human breast cancers. These analyses suggest that 70% of miRNA alterations occurred during the initial progression from normal to a preneoplastic stage. Most of these early changes reflected a global upregulation of miRNAs. This was consistent with a global increase in the miRNA-processing enzyme DICER, which was upregulated as a direct result of loss of miRNA let-7b-5p. Several oncogenic and tumor suppressor pathways were also found to change early, prior to histologic stigmata of cancer. Our finding that most genomic changes in the progression to basal-like breast cancer occurred in the earliest stages of histologic progression has implications for breast cancer prevention and selection of appropriate control tissues in molecular studies. Furthermore, in support of a functional significance of let-7b-5p loss, we found its low levels to predict poor disease-free survival and overall survival in breast cancer patients.


RNA sequencing; basal-like breast cancer; integromics; miRNAomics; preneoplastic

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