Cancer research

Genomic and expression profiling of chromosome 17 in breast cancer reveals complex patterns of alterations and novel candidate genes.

PMID 15374954


Chromosome 17 is severely rearranged in breast cancer. Whereas the short arm undergoes frequent losses, the long arm harbors complex combinations of gains and losses. In this work we present a comprehensive study of quantitative anomalies at chromosome 17 by genomic array-comparative genomic hybridization and of associated RNA expression changes by cDNA arrays. We built a genomic array covering the entire chromosome at an average density of 1 clone per 0.5 Mb, and patterns of gains and losses were characterized in 30 breast cancer cell lines and 22 primary tumors. Genomic profiles indicated severe rearrangements. Compiling data from all samples, we subdivided chromosome 17 into 13 consensus segments: 4 regions showing mainly losses, 6 regions showing mainly gains, and 3 regions showing either gains or losses. Within these segments, smallest regions of overlap were defined (17 for gains and 16 for losses). Expression profiles were analyzed by means of cDNA arrays comprising 358 known genes at 17q. Comparison of expression changes with quantitative anomalies revealed that about half of the genes were consistently affected by copy number changes. We identified 85 genes overexpressed when gained (39 of which mapped within the smallest regions of overlap), 67 genes underexpressed when lost (32 of which mapped to minimal intervals of losses), and, interestingly, 32 genes showing reduced expression when gained. Candidate genes identified in this study belong to very diverse functional groups, and a number of them are novel candidates.