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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Computational analysis of expression of human embryonic stem cell-associated signatures in tumors

Xiaosheng Wang

Author Affiliations

Biometric Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD 20852, USA

BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:471  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-471

Published: 31 October 2011

Abstract

Background

The cancer stem cell model has been proposed based on the linkage between human embryonic stem cells and human cancer cells. However, the evidences supporting the cancer stem cell model remain to be collected. In this study, we extensively examined the expression of human embryonic stem cell-associated signatures including core genes, transcription factors, pathways and microRNAs in various cancers using the computational biology approach.

Results

We used the class comparison analysis and survival analysis algorithms to identify differentially expressed genes and their associated transcription factors, pathways and microRNAs among normal vs. tumor or good prognosis vs. poor prognosis phenotypes classes based on numerous human cancer gene expression data. We found that most of the human embryonic stem cell- associated signatures were frequently identified in the analysis, suggesting a strong linkage between human embryonic stem cells and cancer cells.

Conclusions

The present study revealed the close linkage between the human embryonic stem cell associated gene expression profiles and cancer-associated gene expression profiles, and therefore offered an indirect support for the cancer stem cell theory. However, many interest issues remain to be addressed further.