Tumour biology : the journal of the International Society for Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine

MYLK and MYL9 expression in non-small cell lung cancer identified by bioinformatics analysis of public expression data.

PMID 25179839


Gene expression microarrays are widely used to investigate molecular targets in cancers, including lung cancer. In this study, we analyzed online non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) microarray databases, to screen the key genes and pathways related to NSCLC by bioinformatics analyses. And then, the expression levels of two selected genes in the down-regulated co-pathways, myosin light chain kinase (MYLK) and myosin regulatory light chain 9 (MYL9), were determined in tumor, paired paraneoplastic, and normal lung tissues. First, gene set enrichment analysis and meta-analysis were conducted to identify key genes and pathways that contribute to NSCLC carcinogenesis. Second, using the total RNA and protein extracted from lung cancer tissues (n = 240), adjacent non-cancer tissues (n = 240), and normal lung tissues (n = 300), we examined the MYLK and MYL9 expression levels by quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot. Finally, we explored the correlations between mRNA and protein expressions of these two genes and the clinicopathological parameters of NSCLC. Fifteen up-regulated and nine down-regulated co-pathways were observed. A number of differentially expressed genes (CALM1, THBS1, CSF3, BMP2, IL6ST, MYLK, ROCK2, IL3RA, MYL9, PPP2CA, CSF2RB, CNAQ, GRIA2, IL10RA, IL10RB, IL11RA, LIFR, PLCB4, and RAC3) were identified (P < 0.01) in the down-regulated co-pathways. The expression levels of MYLK and MYL9, which act downstream of the vascular smooth muscle contraction signal pathway and focal adhesion pathway, were significantly lower in cancer tissue than those in the paraneoplastic and normal tissues (P < 0.05). Moreover, the expression levels of these two genes in stages III and IV NSCLC were significantly increased, when compared to stages I and II, and expressions levels in NSCLC with lymphatic metastasis were higher than that without lymphatic metastasis (P < 0.05). Additionally, significant lower expression levels of the two genes were found in smokers than in nonsmokers (P < 0.05). In contrast, gender, differentiated degrees, and pathohistological type appeared to have no impact on these gene expressions (P > 0.05). These findings suggested that low MYLK and MYL9 expressions might be associated with the development of NSCLC. These genes may be also relevant to NSCLC metastasis. Future investigations with large sample sizes needed to verify these findings.