This study aimed to screen sensitive biomarkers for the efficacy evaluation of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer.
In this study, Illumina digital gene expression sequencing technology was applied and differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between patients presenting pathological complete response (pCR) and non-pathological complete response (NpCR) were identified. Further, gene ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis were then performed. The genes in significant enriched pathways were finally quantified by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) to confirm that they were differentially expressed. Additionally, GSE23988 from Gene Expression Omnibus database was used as the validation dataset to confirm the DEGs.
After removing the low-quality reads, 715 DEGs were finally detected. After mapping to KEGG pathways, 10 DEGs belonging to the ubiquitin proteasome pathway (HECTD3, PSMB10, UBD, UBE2C, and UBE2S) and cytokine–cytokine receptor interactions (CCL2, CCR1, CXCL10, CXCL11, and IL2RG) were selected for further analysis. These 10 genes were finally quantified by qRT-PCR to confirm that they were differentially expressed (the log2 fold changes of selected genes were − 5.34, 7.81, 6.88, 5.74, 3.11, 19.58, 8.73, 8.88, 7.42, and 34.61 for HECTD3, PSMB10, UBD, UBE2C, UBE2S, CCL2, CCR1, CXCL10, CXCL11, and IL2RG, respectively). Moreover, 53 common genes were confirmed by the validation dataset, including downregulated UBE2C and UBE2S.
Our results suggested that these 10 genes belonging to these two pathways might be useful as sensitive biomarkers for the efficacy evaluation of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer.