Groundbreaking Research – mRNA sequencing reveals transcriptomic landscape of breast cancer

breast cancer transcriptomeA team led by researchers at the George Washington University has published a study that is the first of its kind to use mRNA sequencing to look at the expression of genome, at a unprecedented resolution at the current time, in three types of breast cancer. The study titled, “Transcriptomic landscape of breast cancer through mRNA sequencing,” is published in the Feb. 14 edition of the journal, Scientific Reports, a new open access Nature journal for large volume data.

Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease with a poorly defined genetic landscape, which poses a major challenge in diagnosis and treatment. By massively parallel mRNA sequencing, the team obtained 1.2 billion reads from 17 individual human tissues belonging to TNBC, Non-TNBC, and HER2-positive breast cancers and defined their comprehensive digital transcriptome for the first time. Surprisingly, they identified a high number of novel and unannotated transcripts, revealing the global breast cancer transcriptomic adaptations. Comparative transcriptomic analyses elucidated differentially expressed transcripts between the three breast cancer groups, identifying several new modulators of breast cancer. The study also identified common transcriptional regulatory elements, such as highly abundant primary transcripts, including osteonectin, RACK1, calnexin, calreticulin, FTL, and B2M, and “genomic hotspots” enriched in primary transcripts between the three groups. Thus, this study opens previously unexplored niches that could enable a better understanding of the disease and the development of potential intervention strategies.

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  • Eswaran J, Cyanam D, Mudvari P, Reddy SDNR, Pakala SB, Nair SS, Florea L, Fuqua SAW, Godbole S, Kumar R. (2012) Transcriptomic landscape of breast cancers through mRNA sequencing. Scientific Reports [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]