Cancer-Associated Stemness and Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition Signatures Related to Breast Invasive Carcinoma Prognostic

Monica Groza, Cornelia Braicu, Ancuta Jurj, Oana Zanoaga, Raduly Lajos, Paul Chiroi, Roxana Cojocneanu, Diana Paun, Alexandru Irimie, Schuyler S. Korban, Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu, Ioana Berindan-Neagoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Breast cancer is one of the most common oncological diseases in women, as its incidence is rapidly growing, rendering it unpredictable and causing more harm than ever before on an annual basis. Alterations of coding and noncoding genes are related to tumorigenesis and breast cancer progression. In this study, several key genes associated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stem cell (CSC) features were identified. EMT and CSCs are two key mechanisms responsible for self-renewal, differentiation, and self-protection, thus contributing to drug resistance. Therefore, understanding of the relationship between these processes may identify a therapeutic vulnerability that can be further exploited in clinical practice, and evaluate its correlation with overall survival rate. To determine expression levels of altered coding and noncoding genes, The Cancer Omics Atlas (TCOA) are used, and these data are overlapped with a list of CSCs and EMT-specific genes downloaded from NCBI. As a result, it is observed that CSCs are reciprocally related to EMT, thus identifying common signatures that allow for predicting the overall survival for breast cancer genes (BRCA). In fact, common CSCs and EMT signatures, represented by ALDH1A1, SFRP1, miR-139, miR-21, and miR-200c, are deemed useful as prognostic biomarkers for BRCA. Therefore, by mapping changes in gene expression across CSCs and EMT, suggesting a cross-talk between these two processes, we have been able to identify either the most common or specific genes or miRNA markers associated with overall survival rate. Thus, a better understanding of these mechanisms will lead to more effective treatment options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3053
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 20 2020


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Mesenchymal transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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