Identification of differentially expressed genes between mucinous adenocarcinoma and other adenocarcinoma of colorectal cancer using bioinformatics analysis

Colorectal Cancer

J Int Med Res. 2020 Aug;48(8):300060520949036. doi: 10.1177/0300060520949036.


OBJECTIVE: As a unique histological subtype of colorectal cancer (CRC), mucinous adenocarcinoma (MC) has a poor prognosis and responds poorly to treatment. Genes and markers related to MC have not been reported.

METHODS: To identify biomarkers involved in development of MC compared with other common adenocarcinoma (AC) subtypes, four datasets were obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified using GEO2R. A protein-protein interaction network was constructed. Functional annotation for DEGs was performed via DAVID, Metascape, and BiNGO. Significant modules and hub genes were identified using Cytoscape, and expression of hub genes and relationships between hub genes and MC were analyzed.

RESULTS: The DEGs were mainly enriched in negative regulation of cell proliferation, bicarbonate transport, response to peptide hormone, cell-cell signaling, cell proliferation, and positive regulation of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway. The Venn diagram revealed eight significant hub genes: CXCL9, IDO1, MET, SNAI2, and ZEB2 were highly expressed in MC compared with AC, whereas AREG, TWIST1, and ZEB1 were expressed at a low level. AREG and MET might be significant biomarkers for MC.

CONCLUSION: The identified DEGs might help elucidate the pathogenesis of MC, identify potential targets, and improve treatment for CRC.