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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 2760918, 10 pages
Research Article

Identification of Key Genes and Pathways in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer by Integrated Bioinformatics Analysis

1Tianjin State Key Laboratory of Modern Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China
2Tianjin Central Hospital of Gynecology Obstetrics, Tianjin 300100, China
3Department of Breast Pathology and Research Laboratory, Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer Prevention and Therapy (Ministry of Education), National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin 300060, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Fangfang Liu; moc.361@725fel

Received 14 March 2018; Revised 15 June 2018; Accepted 4 July 2018; Published 2 August 2018

Academic Editor: Robert A. Vierkant

Copyright © 2018 Pengzhi Dong 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.


Purpose. Triple-negative breast cancer refers to breast cancer that does not express estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2). This study aimed to identify the key pathways and genes and find the potential initiation and progression mechanism of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Methods. We downloaded the gene expression profiles of GSE76275 from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets. This microarray Super-Series sets are composed of gene expression data from 265 samples which included 67 non-TNBC and 198 TNBC. Next, all the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with p<0.01 and fold change ≥1.5 or ≤-1.5 were identified. Result. 56 upregulated and 151 downregulated genes were listed and the gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway (KEGG) enrichment analysis was performed. These significantly changed genes were mainly involved in the biological process termed prostate gland morphogenesis, inner ear morphogenesis, cell maturation, digestive tract morphogenesis, autonomic nervous system development, monovalent inorganic anion homeostasis, neural crest cell development, regulation of dendrite extension and glial cell proliferation, immune system process termed T cell differentiation, regulation of immune response, and macrophage activation. Genes are mainly involved in the KEGG pathway termed Oocyte meiosis. All DEGs underwent survival analysis using datasets from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) integrated by cBioPortal, of which amplification of SRY-related HMG-box 8 (SOX8), androgen receptor (AR), and Chromosome 9 Open Reading Frame 152 (C9orf152) were significantly negative while Nik Related Kinase (NRK) and RAS oncogene family 30 (RAB30) were positively correlated to the life expectancy (p<0.05). Conclusions. In conclusion, these pathways and genes identified could help understanding the mechanism of development of TNBC. Besides, SOX8, AR, C9orf152, NRK and RAB30, and other key genes and pathways might be promising targets for the TNBC treatment.