Integrative genomics in combination with RNA interference identifies prognostic and functionally relevant gene targets for oral squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

PLoS genetics, Volume 9, Issue 1, p.e1003169 (2013)

Keywords:

Clinical Research Division, February 2013, Public Health Sciences Division

Abstract:

In oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), metastasis to lymph nodes is associated with a 50% reduction in 5-year survival. To identify a metastatic gene set based on DNA copy number abnormalities (CNAs) of differentially expressed genes, we compared DNA and RNA of OSCC cells laser-microdissected from non-metastatic primary tumors (n = 17) with those from lymph node metastases (n = 20), using Affymetrix 250K Nsp single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays and U133 Plus 2.0 arrays, respectively. With a false discovery rate (FDR)<5%, 1988 transcripts were found to be differentially expressed between primary and metastatic OSCC. Of these, 114 were found to have a significant correlation between DNA copy number and gene expression (FDR<0.01). Among these 114 correlated transcripts, the corresponding genomic regions of each of 95 transcripts had CNAs differences between primary and metastatic OSCC (FDR<0.01). Using an independent dataset of 133 patients, multivariable analysis showed that the OSCC-specific and overall mortality hazards ratio (HR) for patients carrying the 95-transcript signature were 4.75 (95% CI: 2.03-11.11) and 3.45 (95% CI: 1.84-6.50), respectively. To determine the degree by which these genes impact cell survival, we compared the growth of five OSCC cell lines before and after knockdown of over-amplified transcripts via a high-throughput siRNA-mediated screen. The expression-knockdown of 18 of the 26 genes tested showed a growth suppression ≥ 30% in at least one cell line (P<0.01). In particular, cell lines derived from late-stage OSCC were more sensitive to the knockdown of G3BP1 than cell lines derived from early-stage OSCC, and the growth suppression was likely caused by increase in apoptosis. Further investigation is warranted to examine the biological role of these genes in OSCC progression and their therapeutic potentials.