Combination of meta-analysis and graph clustering to identify prognostic markers of ESCC
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is 1 of the most common cancers worldwide. In our study, cDNA microarray comprising 14,803 genes was employed to identify gene-specific expression profile in 6 paired samples of ESCC. Nine genes identified were commonly upregulated and 36 downregulated in tumors, as compared to normal esophageal squamous epithelia. Among these genes, we found that 9 of the altered expression genes were related to arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism, such as annexin-I, annexin-II, S100A8, S100A10, S100P, glutathione peroxidase-3, phosphatidylcholine transfer protein, aldo-keto reductase family 1 and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). To gain insights into the regulation of the AA metabolism pathway involved in the carcinogenesis of ESCC, we investigated the expression of 8 genes related to the AA metabolism by semiquantitative reverse transcript (RT)-PCR and/or Western blot and immunohistochemistry. These genes include annexin-I, annexin-II, COX-2, cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cytosolic phospholipase A(2) (cPLA(2)), 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX), 5-lipoxygenase activating protein (FLAP) and 12-lipoxygenase (12-LOX) (not included in the array data). The expression level of annexin-I, annexin-II was downregulated in esophageal cancer, whereas cPLA(2), FLAP, COX-2, 5-LOX and 12-LOX were upregulated. These data suggested that AA metabolism pathway and its altered expression may contribute to esophageal squamous cell carcinogenesis.