Image_5_Identifying Biomarkers to Predict the Progression and Prognosis of Breast Cancer by Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis.TIF (1.22 MB)

Image_5_Identifying Biomarkers to Predict the Progression and Prognosis of Breast Cancer by Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis.TIF

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posted on 17.12.2020, 05:25 by Gengsheng Shi, Zhenru Shen, Yi Liu, Wenqin Yin

Breast cancer (BC) is the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. The molecular mechanisms of its pathogenesis are still to be investigated. In our study, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were screened between BC and normal tissues. Based on the DEGs, a weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) was performed in 683 BC samples, and eight co-expressed gene modules were identified. In addition, by relating the eight co-expressed modules to clinical information, we found the blue module and pathological stage had a significant correlation (r = 0.24, p = 1e–10). Validated by multiple independent datasets, using one-way ANOVA, survival analysis and expression level revalidation, we finally screened 12 hub genes that can predict BC progression and prognosis. Functional annotation analysis indicated that the hub genes were enriched in cell division and cell cycle regulation. Importantly, higher expression of the 12 hub genes indicated poor overall survival, recurrence-free survival, and disease-free survival in BC patients. In addition, the expression of the 12 hub genes showed a significantly positive correlation with the expression of cell proliferation marker Ki-67 in BC. In summary, our study has identified 12 hub genes associated with the progression and prognosis of BC; these hub genes might lead to poor outcomes by regulating the cell division and cell cycle. These hub genes may serve as a biomarker and help to distinguish different pathological stages for BC patients.

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