Comparative mRNA and microrna expression profiling of three genitourinary cancers reveals common hallmarks and Cancer-Specific molecular events

Xianxin Li, Jiahao Chen, Xueda Hu, Yi Huang, Zhizhong Li, Liang Zhou, Zhijian Tian, Hongyu Ma, Zhiyun Wu, Maoshan Chen, Zujing Han, Zhiyu Peng, Xiaokun Zhao, Chaozhao Liang, Yong Wang, Liang Sun, Jing Chen, Jun Zhao, Binghua Jiang, Huanming YangYaoting Gui, Zhiming Cai, Xiuqing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Genome-wide gene expression profile using deep sequencing technologies can drive the discovery of cancer biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Such efforts are often limited to profiling the expression signature of either mRNA or microRNA (miRNA) in a single type of cancer. Methodology: Here we provided an integrated analysis of the genome-wide mRNA and miRNA expression profiles of three different genitourinary cancers: carcinomas of the bladder, kidney and testis. Principal Findings: Our results highlight the general or cancer-specific roles of several genes and miRNAs that may serve as candidate oncogenes or suppressors of tumor development. Further comparative analyses at the systems level revealed that significant aberrations of the cell adhesion process, p53 signaling, calcium signaling, the ECM-receptor and cell cycle pathways, the DNA repair and replication processes and the immune and inflammatory response processes were the common hallmarks of human cancers. Gene sets showing testicular cancer-specific deregulation patterns were mainly implicated in processes related to male reproductive function, and general disruptions of multiple metabolic pathways and processes related to cell migration were the characteristic molecular events for renal and bladder cancer, respectively. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that tumors with the same histological origins and genes with similar functions tended to group together in a clustering analysis. By assessing the correlation between the expression of each miRNA and its targets, we determined that deregulation of 'key' miRNAs may result in the global aberration of one or more pathways or processes as a whole. Conclusions: This systematic analysis deciphered the molecular phenotypes of three genitourinary cancers and investigated their variations at the miRNA level simultaneously. Our results provided a valuable source for future studies and highlighted some promising genes, miRNAs, pathways and processes that may be useful for diagnostic or therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22570
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

Cite this