Potential molecular signatures in epithelial ovarian cancer by genome wide expression profiling

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Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers because of its late diagnosis and poor treatment outcomes. This study aimed to identify potential molecular signatures associated with biological processes that are implicated in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).


Expression profiling was carried out on 16 fresh frozen EOC and normal ovarian tissue samples using the Illumina Whole Genome DASL assay (cDNA-mediated annealing, selection, extension and ligation). The differentially expressed genes were analyzed using the GeneSpring GX11.5 and Pathway Studio 8.0 software. The microarray results were validated using the immunohistochemistry analyses.


Unpaired t-test identified 652 (270 up- and 382 downregulated) significant differentially expressed genes (P < 0.001 and fold change ≥2.0). Hierarchical clustering analysis displayed a distinct separation of cancer and normal samples. Gene set enrichment analysis identified alterations in the expression of genes associated with cancer development and progression. Positive immunostaining of claudin-7, ephrin receptor A1 and Forkhead Box M1 in EOC was consistent with the upregulation of these genes in the microarray result. However, the positive immunostaining of fibroblast growth factor-7 in cancer tissues was not in accordance with the downregulation of this gene in the microarray result.


These results identify significant genes and their related biological processes which may contribute to the better understanding of development and progression of epithelial ovarian cancer.

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