Characterization of gene expression profiles in tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment is an important step in understanding neoplastic progression. To date, there are limited data available on expression changes that occur in the tumor-associated stroma as either a cause or consequence of cancer. In the present study, we employed a 54,000 target oligonucleotide microarray to compare expression profiles in the 4 major components of the microenvironment: tumor epithelium, tumor-associated stroma, normal epithelium, and normal stroma. Cells from 5 human, whole-mount prostatectomy specimens were microdissected and the extracted and amplified mRNA was hybridized to an Affymetrix Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 GeneChip. Using the intersection of 2 analysis methods, we identified sets of differentially expressed genes among the 4 components. Forty-four genes were found to be consistently differentially expressed in the tumor-associated stroma; 35 were found in the tumor epithelium. Interestingly, the tumor-associated stroma showed a predominant up-regulation of transcripts compared with normal stroma, in sharp contrast to the overall down-regulation seen in the tumor epithelium relative to normal epithelium. These data provide insight into the molecular changes occurring in tumor-associated stromal cells and suggest new potential targets for future diagnostic, imaging, or therapeutic intervention.
†HHMI-NIH Research Scholar
§SAIC-Frederick, Inc, National Cancer Institute at Frederick, Frederick, MD
∥Urologic Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
♯Urology, Catholic University, Santiago, Chile
Supplementary tables and figures are available at http://www.molecularpathology.com.
Reprints: Annely M. Richardson, BS, Pathogenetics Unit/HHMI-NIH Research Scholar, Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-4605 (e-mail: email@example.com).