Research Papers:

Genome-scale analysis identifies GJB2 and ERO1LB as prognosis markers in patients with pancreatic cancer

Tao Zhu, Yuan-Feng Gao, Yi-Xin Chen, Zhi-Bin Wang, Ji-Ye Yin, Xiao-Yuan Mao, Xi Li, Wei Zhang, Hong-Hao Zhou and Zhao-Qian Liu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:21281-21289. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15068

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Tao Zhu1,2, Yuan-Feng Gao1,2, Yi-Xin Chen1,2, Zhi-Bin Wang1,2, Ji-Ye Yin1,2, Xiao-Yuan Mao1,2, Xi Li1,2, Wei Zhang1,2, Hong-Hao Zhou1,2, Zhao-Qian Liu1,2

1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410008, P. R. China

2Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Central South University, Hunan Key Laboratory of Pharmacogenetics, Changsha 410078, P. R. China

Correspondence to:

Zhao-Qian Liu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: pancreatic cancer, GJB2, ERO1LB, prognosis

Received: November 02, 2016    Accepted: January 09, 2017    Published: February 03, 2017


Pancreatic cancer is a complex and heterogeneous disease with the etiology largely unknown. The deadly nature of pancreatic cancer, with an extremely low 5-year survival rate, renders urgent a better understanding of the molecular events underlying it. The aim of this study is to investigate the gene expression module of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with prognostic potentials. Transcriptome microarray data of five GEO datasets (GSE15471, GSE16515, GSE18670, GSE32676, GSE71989), including 117 primary tumor samples and 73 normal pancreatic tissue samples, were utilized to identify DEGs. The five sets of DEGs had an overlapping subset consisting of 98 genes (90 up-regulated and 8 down-regulated), which were probably common to pancreatic cancer. Gene ontology (GO) analysis of the 98 DEGs showed that cell cycle and cell adhesion were the major enriched processes, and extracellular matrix (ECM)-receptor interaction and p53 signaling pathway were the most enriched pathways according to Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis. Elevated expression of gap junction protein beta 2 (GJB2) and reduced endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductase 1-like beta (ERO1LB) expression were validated in an independent cohort. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that GJB2 and ERO1LB levels were significantly associated with the overall survival of pancreatic cancer patients. GJB2 and ERO1LB are implicated in pancreatic cancer progression and can be used to predict patient survival. Therapeutic strategies targeting GJB2 and facilitating ERO1LB expression may deserve evaluation to improve prognosis of pancreatic cancer patients.

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