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Computational Analysis of Transcriptomic and Proteomic Data for Deciphering Molecular Heterogeneity and Drug Responsiveness in Model Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Lines.


ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is associated with high mortality due to its inherent heterogeneity, aggressiveness, and limited therapeutic regimes. Herein, we analyzed 21 human HCC cell lines (HCC lines) to explore intertumor molecular diversity and pertinent drug sensitivity. We used an integrative computational approach based on exploratory and single-sample gene-set enrichment analysis of transcriptome and proteome data from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, followed by correlation analysis of drug-screening data from the Cancer Therapeutics Response Portal with curated gene-set enrichment scores. Acquired results classified HCC lines into two groups, a poorly and a well-differentiated group, displaying lower/higher enrichment scores in a "Specifically Upregulated in Liver" gene-set, respectively. Hierarchical clustering based on a published epithelial-mesenchymal transition gene expression signature further supported this stratification. Between-group comparisons of gene and protein expression unveiled distinctive patterns, whereas downstream functional analysis significantly associated differentially expressed genes with crucial cancer-related biological processes/pathways and revealed concrete driver-gene signatures. Finally, correlation analysis highlighted a diverse effectiveness of specific drugs against poorly compared to well-differentiated HCC lines, possibly applicable in clinical research with patients with analogous characteristics. Overall, this study expanded the knowledge on the molecular profiles, differentiation status, and drug responsiveness of HCC lines, and proposes a cost-effective computational approach to precision anti-HCC therapies.

SUBMITTER: Agioutantis PC 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7349788 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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