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Suppression subtractive hybridization identified differentially expressed genes in lung adenocarcinoma: ERGIC3 as a novel lung cancer-related gene

Mingsong Wu123, Tao Tu14, Yunchao Huang5 and Yi Cao1*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Animal Models and Human Disease Mechanism, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650223, China

2 Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China

3 Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Zunyi Medical College, Zunyi, 563003, China

4 Department of Anesthesiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Kunming, 650032, China

5 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Tumor Hospital of Yunnan Province, Kunming, 650106, China

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BMC Cancer 2013, 13:44  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-44

Published: 1 February 2013



To understand the carcinogenesis caused by accumulated genetic and epigenetic alterations and seek novel biomarkers for various cancers, studying differentially expressed genes between cancerous and normal tissues is crucial. In the study, two cDNA libraries of lung cancer were constructed and screened for identification of differentially expressed genes.


Two cDNA libraries of differentially expressed genes were constructed using lung adenocarcinoma tissue and adjacent nonmalignant lung tissue by suppression subtractive hybridization. The data of the cDNA libraries were then analyzed and compared using bioinformatics analysis. Levels of mRNA and protein were measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (q-RT-PCR) and western blot respectively, as well as expression and localization of proteins were determined by immunostaining. Gene functions were investigated using proliferation and migration assays after gene silencing and gene over-expression.


Two libraries of differentially expressed genes were obtained. The forward-subtracted library (FSL) and the reverse-subtracted library (RSL) contained 177 and 59 genes, respectively. Bioinformatic analysis demonstrated that these genes were involved in a wide range of cellular functions. The vast majority of these genes were newly identified to be abnormally expressed in lung cancer. In the first stage of the screening for 16 genes, we compared lung cancer tissues with their adjacent non-malignant tissues at the mRNA level, and found six genes (ERGIC3, DDR1, HSP90B1, SDC1, RPSA, and LPCAT1) from the FSL were significantly up-regulated while two genes (GPX3 and TIMP3) from the RSL were significantly down-regulated (P < 0.05). The ERGIC3 protein was also over-expressed in lung cancer tissues and cultured cells, and expression of ERGIC3 was correlated with the differentiated degree and histological type of lung cancer. The up-regulation of ERGIC3 could promote cellular migration and proliferation in vitro.


The two libraries of differentially expressed genes may provide the basis for new insights or clues for finding novel lung cancer-related genes; several genes were newly found in lung cancer with ERGIC3 seeming a novel lung cancer-related gene. ERGIC3 may play an active role in the development and progression of lung cancer.

Lung cancer; cDNA library; Suppression subtractive hybridization; ERGIC3; Erv46