Research Papers:

Non-myogenic tumors display altered expression of dystrophin (DMD) and a high frequency of genetic alterations

Leonela N. Luce, Mercedes Abbate, Javier Cotignola and Florencia Giliberto _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:145-155. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10426

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Leonela N. Luce1, Mercedes Abbate2, Javier Cotignola2,*, Florencia Giliberto1,*

1INIGEM, CONICET / Cátedra de Genética y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

2IQUIBICEN, CONICET / Departamento de Química Biológica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Florencia Giliberto, email: [email protected]

Keywords: DMD, dystrophin, gene expression, genetic alteration, survival

Received: February 26, 2016     Accepted: June 02, 2016     Published: July 06, 2016


DMD gene mutations have been associated with the development of Dystrophinopathies. Interestingly, it has been recently reported that DMD is involved in the development and progression of myogenic tumors, assigning DMD a tumor suppressor activity in these types of cancer. However, there are only few reports that analyze DMD in non-myogenic tumors. Our study was designed to examine DMD expression and genetic alterations in non-myogenic tumors using public repositories. We also evaluated the overall survival of patients with and without DMD mutations. We studied 59 gene expression microarrays (GEO database) and RNAseq (cBioPortal) datasets that included 9817 human samples. We found reduced DMD expression in 15/27 (56%) pairwise comparisons performed (Fold-Change (FC) ≤ 0.70; p-value range = 0.04-1.5x10-20). The analysis of RNAseq studies revealed a median frequency of DMD genetic alterations of 3.4%, higher or similar to other well-known tumor suppressor genes. In addition, we observed significant poorer overall survival for patients with DMD mutations. The analyses of paired tumor/normal tissues showed that the majority of tumor specimens had lower DMD expression compared to their normal adjacent counterpart. Interestingly, statistical significant over-expression of DMD was found in 6/27 studies (FC ≥ 1.4; p-value range = 0.03-3.4x10-15). These results support that DMD expression and genetic alterations are frequent and relevant in non-myogenic tumors. The study and validation of DMD as a new player in tumor development and as a new prognostic factor for tumor progression and survival are warranted.

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