BMC Cancer [electronic resource]
BACKGROUND: Esophageal carcinoma is the third most common gastrointestinal malignancy worldwide and is largely unresponsive to therapy. African-Americans have an increased risk for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), the subtype that shows marked variation in geographic frequency. The molecular architecture of African-American ESCC is still poorly understood. It is unclear why African-American ESCC is more aggressive and the survival rate in these patients is worse than those of other ethnic groups.
METHODS: To begin to define genetic alterations that occur in African-American ESCC we conducted microarray expression profiling in pairs of esophageal squamous cell tumors and matched control tissues.
RESULTS: We found significant dysregulation of genes encoding drug-metabolizing enzymes and stress response components of the NRF2- mediated oxidative damage pathway, potentially representing key genes in African-American esophageal squamous carcinogenesis. Loss of activity of drug metabolizing enzymes would confer increased sensitivity of esophageal cells to xenobiotics, such as alcohol and tobacco smoke, and may account for the high incidence and aggressiveness of ESCC in this ethnic group. To determine whether certain genes are uniquely altered in African-American ESCC we performed a meta-analysis of ESCC expression profiles in our African-American samples and those of several Asian samples. Down-regulation of TP53 pathway components represented the most common feature in ESCC of all ethnic groups. Importantly, this analysis revealed a potential distinctive molecular underpinning of African-American ESCC, that is, a widespread and prominent involvement of the NRF2 pathway.
CONCLUSION: Taken together, these findings highlight the remarkable interplay of genetic and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of African-American ESCC.
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Erkizan, H., Johnson, K., Ghimbovschi, S., Karkera, D., Trachiotis, G., Adib, H., Hoffman, E., & Wadleigh, R. (2017). African-American esophageal squamous cell carcinoma expression profile reveals dysregulation of stress response and detox networks.. BMC Cancer [electronic resource], 17 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-017-3423-1