Gene expression analysis of biological systems driving an organotypic model of endometrial carcinogenesis and chemoprevention

Doris M. Benbrook, Stan Lightfoot, James Ranger-Moore, Tongzu Liu, Shylet Chengedza, William L. Berry, Igor Dozmorov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


An organotypic model of endometrial carcinogenesis and chemoprevention was developed in which normal endometrial organotypic cultures exposed to the carcinogen, DMBA (7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene), developed a cancerous phenotype in the absence, but not presence of subsequent treatment with a flexible heteroarotinoid (Flex-Het), called SHetA2. A discriminant function based on karyometric features of cellular nuclei and an agar clonogenic assay confirmed these histologic changes. Interpretation of microarray data using an internal standard approach identified major pathways associated with carcinogenesis and chemoprevention governed by c-myc, p53, TNFα and Jun genes. Cluster analysis of functional associations of hypervariable genes demonstrated that carcinogenesis is accompanied by a stimulating association between a module of genes that includes tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), c-myc, and epidermal growth factor-receptor (EGF-R) and a module that includes insulin-like growth factor I-receptor (IGF-IR), p53, and Jun genes. Two secreted proteins involved in these systems, tenascin C and inhibin A, were validated at the protein level. Tenascin C is an EGF-R ligand, and therefore may contribute to the increased EGF-R involvement in carcinogenesis. The known roles of the identified molecular systems in DMBA and endometrial carcinogenesis and chemoprevention supports the validity of this model and the potential clinical utility of SHetA2 in chemoprevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-42
Number of pages22
JournalGene Regulation and Systems Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Carcinogenesis
  • Chemoprevention
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Heteroarotinoid
  • Karyometric analysis
  • Microarrays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications


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