Research Papers:

Multidimensional analysis of gene expression reveals TGFB1I1-induced EMT contributes to malignant progression of astrocytomas

Yanwei Liu _, Huimin Hu, Kuanyu Wang, Chuanbao Zhang, Yinyan Wang, Kun Yao, Pei Yang, Lei Han, Chunsheng Kang, Wei Zhang and Tao Jiang

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:12593-12606. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2518

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Yanwei Liu1,6,*, Huimin Hu1,6,*, Kuanyu Wang4, Chuanbao Zhang2,6, Yinyan Wang2,6, Kun Yao5,6, Pei Yang2,6, Lei Han3,6, Chunsheng Kang3,6, Wei Zhang1,2,6, Tao Jiang1,2,6,7,8

1Department of Molecular Neuropathology, Beijing Neurosurgical Institute, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

2Department of Neurosurgery, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

3Laboratory of Neuro-Oncology, Tianjin Neurological Institute, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China

4Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China

5Department of Molecular Neuropathology, Beijing Sanbo Brain Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

6Chinese Glioma Cooperative Group (CGCG), China

7China National Clinical Research Center for Neurological Diseases, China

8Center of Brain Tumor, Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, Beijing, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jiang Tao, e-mail: [email protected]

Zhang Wei, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: Astrocytomas, Malignant progression, Gene expression, TGFB1I1, EMT

Received: April 28, 2014     Accepted: September 24, 2014     Published: December 31, 2014


Malignant progression of astrocytoma is a multistep process with the integration of genetic abnormalities including grade progression and subtypes transition. Established biomarkers of astrocytomas, like IDH1 and TP53 mutation, were not associated with malignant progression. To identify new biomarker(s) contributing to malignant progression, we collected 252 samples with whole genome mRNA expression profile [34 normal brain tissue (NBT), 136 grade II astrocytoma (AII) and 82 grade III astrocytoma (AIII)]. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that EMT-associated pathways were most significantly altered along with tumor grades progress with up-regulation of 17 genes. Up-regulation of these genes was further confirmed by RNA-sequencing in 128 samples. Survival analysis revealed that high expression of these genes indicates a poor survival outcome. We focused on TGFB1I1 (TGF-β1 induced transcript 1) whose expression correlation with WHO grades was further validated by qPCR in 6 cell lines of different grades and 49 independent samples (36 AIIs and 13 AIIIs). High expression of TGFB1I1 was found associated with subtype transition and EMT pathways activation. The conclusion was confirmed using immunohistochemistry in tissue microarrays. Studies in vitro and in vivo using TGF-β1 and TGFB1I1 shRNA demonstrated that TGFB1I1 is required for TGF-β stimulated EMT that contributes to malignant progression of astrocytomas.

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PII: 2518