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Volume 2018, Article ID 1656273, 12 pages
Research Article

Sparse Gene Coexpression Network Analysis Reveals EIF3J-AS1 as a Prognostic Marker for Breast Cancer

Guangdong Key Laboratory of IoT Information Technology, School of Automation, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Shengli Xie; nc.ude.tudg@eixlhs

Received 5 October 2017; Revised 13 May 2018; Accepted 23 May 2018; Published 12 June 2018

Academic Editor: Vittorio Loreto

Copyright © 2018 Xin Chen 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.


Predictive and prognostic biomarkers facilitate the selection of treatment strategies that can improve the survival of patients. Accumulating evidence indicates that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in cancer progression, with diagnostic and prognostic potential. However, few prognostic lncRNAs are reported for breast cancer, and little is known about their functions that contribute to cancer pathogenesis. In this paper, we used weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA) to construct networks containing noncoding and protein-coding genes based on their expression in 1097 breast cancer patients. The differentially expressed genes were significantly overlapped with gene modules regulating cell cycle and cell adhesion. The cell cycle-related lncRNAs were consistently downregulated in breast cancer. One lncRNA, EIF3J-AS1, is significantly associated with clinicopathological characteristics, including tumor size, lymph node metastasis, estrogen receptor (ER), and progesterone receptor (PR) status. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis revealed that EIF3J-AS1, a downregulated lncRNA in breast tumor, is a potential prognostic marker for breast cancer. EIF3J-AS1 may function in an estrogen-independent manner and could be inhibited by the compound FDI-6. Therefore, integrating sparse gene coexpression network and clinicopathological features can accelerate identification and functional characterization of novel prognostic lncRNAs in breast cancer.