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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2009, Article ID 924565, 12 pages
Methodology Report

Gene Expression Analysis of an EGFR Indirectly Related Pathway Identified PTEN and MMP9 as Reliable Diagnostic Markers for Human Glial Tumor Specimens

1Dipartimento di Genetica e Microbiologia, Università di Pavia, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy
2Dipartimento di Farmacologia Sperimentale ed Applicata, Università di Pavia, Viale Taramelli 14, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Received 9 February 2009; Revised 23 April 2009; Accepted 18 May 2009

Academic Editor: Zhumur Ghosh

Copyright © 2009 Sergio Comincini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this study the mRNA levels of five EGFR indirectly related genes, EGFR, HB-EGF, ADAM17, PTEN, and MMP9, have been assessed by Real-time PCR in a panel of 37 glioblastoma multiforme specimens and in 5 normal brain samples; as a result, in glioblastoma, ADAM17 and PTEN expression was significantly lower than in normal brain samples, and, in particular, a statistically significant inverse correlation was found between PTEN and MMP9 mRNA levels. To verify if this correlation was conserved in gliomas, PTEN and MMP9 expression was further investigated in an additional panel of 16 anaplastic astrocytoma specimens and, in parallel, in different human normal and astrocytic tumor cell lines. In anaplastic astrocytomas PTEN expression was significantly higher than in glioblastoma multiforme, but no significant correlation was found between PTEN and MMP9 expression. PTEN and MMP9 mRNA levels were also employed to identify subgroups of specimens within the different glioma malignancy grades and to define a gene expression-based diagnostic classification scheme. In conclusion, this gene expression survey highlighted that the combined measurement of PTEN and MMP9 transcripts might represent a novel reliable tool for the differential diagnosis of high-grade gliomas, and it also suggested a functional link involving these genes in glial tumors.