Breast cancer is commonest cancer in women worldwide. Elucidation of underlying biology and molecular pathways is necessary for improving therapeutic options and clinical outcomes. Molecular alterations in breast cancer are complex and involve cross-talk between multiple signaling pathways. The aim of this study is to extract a unique mRNA fingerprint of breast cancer in Lebanese women using microarray technologies. Gene-expression profiles of 94 fresh breast tissue samples (84 cancerous/10 non-tumor adjacent samples) were analyzed using GeneChip Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 arrays. Quantitative real-time PCR was employed to validate candidate genes. Differentially expressed genes between breast cancer and non-tumor tissues were screened. Significant differences in gene expression were established for COL11A1/COL10A1/MMP1/COL6A6/DLK1/S100P/CXCL11/SOX11/LEP/ADIPOQ/OXTR/FOSL1/ACSBG1 and C21orf37. Pathways/diseases representing these genes were retrieved and linked using PANTHER ®/Pathway Studio ®. Many of the deregulated genes are associated with extracellular matrix, inflammation, angiogenesis, metastasis, differentiation, cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. Characteristics of breast cancers in Lebanese were compared to those of women from Western populations to explain why breast cancer is more aggressive and presents a decade earlier in Lebanese victims. Delineating molecular mechanisms of breast cancer in Lebanese women led to key genes which could serve as potential biomarkers and/or novel drug targets for breast cancer.
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