1. Department of Urology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, P.R. China
2. Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University, New York 11790
Background: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a limited endocrine fatality with a minor diagnosis and rare remedial options. The progressive and predictive meaning of message RNA (mRNA) expression oddity in ACC has been studied extensively in recent years. However, differences in measurement platforms and lab protocols as well as small sample sizes can render gene expression levels incomparable.
Methods: An extensive study of GEO datasets was conducted to define potential mRNA biomarkers for ACC. The study compared the mRNA expression profiles of ACC tissues and neighboring noncancerous adrenal tissues in the pair. The study covered a sum of 165 tumors and 36 benign control samples. Hub genes were identified through a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and Robust Rank Aggregation method. Then the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Oncomine database were used to perform the validation of hub genes. 4 ACC tissues and 4 normal tissues were collected and then Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Western-blot and immunofluorescence were conducted to validate the expression of five hub genes.
Results: We identified five statistically significant genes (TOP2A, NDC80, CEP55, CDKN3, CDK1) corrected with clinical features. The expression of five hub genes in TCGA and Oncomine database were significantly overexpressed in ACC compared with normal ones. Among all the TCGA ACC cases, the strong expression of TOP2A (logrank p=1.4e-04, HR=4.7), NDC80 (logrank p=8.8e-05, HR=4.9), CEP55 (logrank p=5.2e-07, HR=8.6), CDKN3 (log rank p=2.3e-06, HR=7.6) and CDK1 (logrank p=7e-08, HR=11) were correlated with low comprehensive survival, disease free survival (logrank p < 0.001), pathology stage and pathology T stage (FDR < 0.001). PCR results showed that the transcriptional levels of these five genes were significantly higher in ACC tissues than in normal tissues. The western blotting results also showed that the translational level of TOP2A was significantly higher in tumor tissues than in normal tissues. The results of immunofluorescence showed that TOP2A was abundantly observed in the adrenal cortical cell membrane and nucleus and its expression in ACC tissues was significantly higher than that in normal tissues.
Conclusions: The distinguished five genes may be utilized to form a board of progressive and predictive biomarkers for ACC for clinical purpose.
Keywords: adrenocortical carcinoma, robust rank analysis, protein-protein interaction (PPI), biomarker