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Genes and functions from breast cancer signatures

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Cancer, April 2018
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Genes and functions from breast cancer signatures
Published in
BMC Cancer, April 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12885-018-4388-4
Pubmed ID

Shujun Huang, Leigh Murphy, Wayne Xu


Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease and personalized medicine is the hope for the improvement of the clinical outcome. Multi-gene signatures for breast cancer stratification have been extensively studied in the past decades and more than 30 different signatures have been reported. A major concern is the minimal overlap of genes among the reported signatures. We investigated the breast cancer signature genes to address our hypothesis that the genes of different signature may share common functions, as well as to use these previously reported signature genes to build better prognostic models. A total of 33 signatures and the corresponding gene lists were investigated. We first examined the gene frequency and the gene overlap in these signatures. Then the gene functions of each signature gene list were analysed and compared by the KEGG pathways and gene ontology (GO) terms. A classifier built using the common genes was tested using the METABRIC (Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium) data. The common genes were also tested for building the Yin Yang gene mean expression ratio (YMR) signature using public datasets (GSE1456 and GSE2034). Among a total of 2239 genes collected from the 33 breast cancer signatures, only 238 genes overlapped in at least two signatures; while from a total of 1979 function terms enriched in the 33 signature gene lists, 429 terms were common in at least two signatures. Most of the common function terms were involved in cell cycle processes. While there is almost no common overlapping genes between signatures developed for ER-positive (e.g. 21-gene signature) and those developed for ER-negative (e.g. basal signatures) tumours, they have common function terms such as cell death, regulation of cell proliferation. We used the 62 genes that were common in at least three signatures as a classifier and subtyped 1141 METABRIC cases including 144 normal samples into nine subgroups. These subgroups showed different clinical outcome. Among the 238 common genes, we selected those genes that are more highly expressed in normal breast tissue than in tumours as Yang genes and those more highly expressed in tumours than in normal as Yin genes and built a YMR model signature. This YMR showed significance in risk stratification in two datasets (GSE1456 and GSE2034). The lack of significant numbers of overlapping genes among most breast cancer signatures can be partially explained by our discovery that these signature genes represent groups with similar functions. The genes collected from these previously reported signatures are valuable resources for new model development. The subtype classifier and YMR signature built from the common genes showed promising results.

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 53 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 53 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 9 17%
Student > Ph. D. Student 8 15%
Researcher 6 11%
Student > Bachelor 5 9%
Other 3 6%
Other 8 15%
Unknown 14 26%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 11 21%
Medicine and Dentistry 10 19%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 6 11%
Computer Science 3 6%
Engineering 2 4%
Other 3 6%
Unknown 18 34%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 May 2018.
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Altmetric has tracked 12,920,212 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 37th percentile – i.e., 37% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 4,805 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.0. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 51% of its peers.
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