Genes & Cancer

Dysregulation of AKT3 along with a small panel of mRNAs stratifies high-grade serous ovarian cancer from both normal epithelia and benign tumor tissues

Pourya Naderi Yeganeh1, Christine Richardson2, Zahra Bahrani-Mostafavi3, David L. Tait4, M. Taghi Mostafavi1

1 College of Computing and Informatics, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA

2 Department of Biological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA

3 College of Health and Human Services, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA

4 Division of Gynecological Oncology and Obstetrics, Levine Cancer Institute, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC, USA


M. Taghi Mostafavi, email:

Keywords: ovarian cancer, AKT3, genomic analysis, high-grade serous ovarian cancer, biomarker discovery

Received: September 20, 2017 Accepted: December 01, 2017 Published: December 29, 2017


Screening methods of High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer (HGSOC) lack specificity and sensitivity, partly due to benign tumors producing false-positive findings. We utilized a differential expression analysis pipeline on malignant tumor (MT) and normal epithelial (NE) samples, and also filtered the results to discriminate between MT and benign tumor (BT). We report that a panel of 26 dysregulated genes stratifies MT from both BT and NE. We further validated our findings by utilizing unsupervised clustering methods on two independent datasets. We show that the 26-genes panel completely distinguishes HGSOC from NE, and produces a more accurate classification between HGSOC and BT. Pathway analysis reveals that AKT3 is of particular significance, because of its high fold change and appearance in the majority of the dysregulated pathways. mRNA patterns of AKT3 suggest essential connections with tumor growth and metastasis, as well as a strong biomarker potential when used with 3 other genes (PTTG1, MND1, CENPF). Our results show that dysregulation of the 26-mRNA signature panel provides an evidence of malignancy and contribute to the design of a high specificity biomarker panel for detection of HGSOC, potentially in an early more curable stage.

PII: 164