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Identification of Complex Sense-antisense Gene's Module on 17q11.2 Associated with Breast Cancer Aggressiveness and Patient's Survival

Authors: O. Grinchuk, E. Motakis, V. Kuznetsov


Sense-antisense gene pair (SAGP) is a pair of two oppositely transcribed genes sharing a common region on a chromosome. In the mammalian genomes, SAGPs can be organized in more complex sense-antisense gene architectures (CSAGA) in which at least one gene could share loci with two or more antisense partners. Many dozens of CSAGAs can be found in the human genome. However, CSAGAs have not been systematically identified and characterized in context of their role in human diseases including cancers. In this work we characterize the structural-functional properties of a cluster of 5 genes –TMEM97, IFT20, TNFAIP1, POLDIP2 and TMEM199, termed TNFAIP1 / POLDIP2 module. This cluster is organized as CSAGA in cytoband 17q11.2. Affymetrix U133A&B expression data of two large cohorts (410 atients, in total) of breast cancer patients and patient survival data were used. For the both studied cohorts, we demonstrate (i) strong and reproducible transcriptional co-regulatory patterns of genes of TNFAIP1/POLDIP2 module in breast cancer cell subtypes and (ii) significant associations of TNFAIP1/POLDIP2 CSAGA with amplification of the CSAGA region in breast cancer, (ii) cancer aggressiveness (e.g. genetic grades) and (iv) disease free patient-s survival. Moreover, gene pairs of this module demonstrate strong synergetic effect in the prognosis of time of breast cancer relapse. We suggest that TNFAIP1/ POLDIP2 cluster can be considered as a novel type of structural-functional gene modules in the human genome.

Keywords: Sense-antisense gene pair, complex genome architecture, TMEM97, IFT20, TNFAIP1, POLDIP2, TMEM199, 17q11.2, breast cancer, transcription regulation, survival analysis, prognosis.

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