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Elucidation of molecular and functional heterogeneity through differential expression network analyses of discrete tumor subsets.

ABSTRACT: Intratumor heterogeneity presents a major hurdle in cancer therapy. Most current research studies consider tumors as single entities and overlook molecular diversity between heterogeneous state(s) of different cells assumed to be homogenous. The present approach was designed for fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based resolution of heterogeneity arising from cancer stem cell (CSC) hierarchies and genetic instability in ovarian tumors, followed by microarray-based expression profiling of sorted fractions. Through weighted gene correlation network analyses, we could assign enriched modules of co-regulated genes to each fraction. Such gene modules often correlate with biological functions; one such specific association was the enrichment of CD53 expression in CSCs, functional validation indicated CD53 to be a tumor-initiating cell- rather than quiescent CSC-marker. Another association defined a state of poise for stress-induced metastases in aneuploid cells. Our results thus emphasize the need for studying cell-specific functionalities relevant to regeneration, drug resistance and disease progression in discrete tumor cell fractions.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC4853737 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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