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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 245137, 10 pages
Research Article

Gene Expression Profiling in Human High-Grade Astrocytomas

1Anal-Colorectal Surgery Institute, No. 150 Central Hospital of PLA, Luoyang, Henan 471031, China
2Department of Neurosurgery, No. 150 Central Hospital of PLA, Luoyang, Henan 471031, China
3Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Sichuan Cancer Hospital, Chengdu 610041, China
4Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200003, China

Received 13 February 2011; Revised 8 April 2011; Accepted 18 April 2011

Academic Editor: Jacques Camonis

Copyright © 2011 Zhongyu Liu 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.


Diffuse astrocytoma of (WHO grade II) has a tendency to progress spontaneously to anaplastic astrocytoma (WHO grade III) and/or glioblastoma (WHO grade IV). However, the molecular basis of astrocytoma progression is still poorly understood. In current study, an essential initial step toward this goal is the establishment of the taxonomy of tumors on the basis of their gene expression profiles. We have used gene expression profiling, unsupervised (hierarchal cluster (HCL) and principal component analysis (PCA)) and supervised (prediction analysis for microarrays (PAM)) learning methods, to demonstrate the presence of three distinct gene expression signatures of astrocytomas (ACMs), which correspond to diffuse or low-grade astrocytoma (WHO grade II), Anaplastic astrocytoma (WHO grade III) and Glioblastoma multiforme (WHO grade IV). We also demonstrate a 171 gene-based classifier that characterize the distinction between these pathologic/molecular subsets of astrocytomas. These results further define molecular subtypes of astrocytomas and may potentially be used to define potential targets and further refine stratification approaches for therapy. In addition, this study demonstrates that combining gene expression analysis with detailed annotated pathway and gene ontology (GO) category resources was applied to highly enriched normal and tumor population; it can yield an understanding of the critical biological mechanism of astrocytomas.