Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 113, Issue 2, pp 239–249 | Cite as

Gene expression meta-analysis identifies chromosomal regions and candidate genes involved in breast cancer metastasis

  • Mads ThomassenEmail author
  • Qihua Tan
  • Torben A. Kruse
Preclinical Study


Breast cancer cells exhibit complex karyotypic alterations causing deregulation of numerous genes. Some of these genes are probably causal for cancer formation and local growth whereas others are causal for the various steps of metastasis. In a fraction of tumors deregulation of the same genes might be caused by epigenetic modulations, point mutations or the influence of other genes. We have investigated the relation of gene expression and chromosomal position, using eight datasets including more than 1200 breast tumors, to identify chromosomal regions and candidate genes possibly causal for breast cancer metastasis. By use of “Gene Set Enrichment Analysis” we have ranked chromosomal regions according to their relation to metastasis. Overrepresentation analysis identified regions with increased expression for chromosome 1q41–42, 8q24, 12q14, 16q22, 16q24, 17q12–21.2, 17q21–23, 17q25, 20q11, and 20q13 among metastasizing tumors and reduced gene expression at 1p31–21, 8p22–21, and 14q24. By analysis of genes with extremely imbalanced expression in these regions we identified DIRAS3 at 1p31, PSD3, LPL, EPHX2 at 8p21–22, and FOS at 14q24 as candidate metastasis suppressor genes. Potential metastasis promoting genes includes RECQL4 at 8q24, PRMT7 at 16q22, GINS2 at 16q24, and AURKA at 20q13.


Metastasis Distant metastasis Metastasis genes Causal genes Breast cancer Somatic mutations Copy number Microarray Gene expression profiling 



All the researchers that have generated gene expression data that we have included in the analysis are acknowledged for allowing us to use their data.

Supplementary material

10549_2008_9927_MOESM1_ESM.ppt (556 kb)
(PPT 556 kb)
10549_2008_9927_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (26 kb)
(PDF 25 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and GeneticsOdense University Hospital and Human Microarray Centre (HUMAC), University of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark
  2. 2.Institute of Public HealthUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark

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