To identify DNA copy number changes that had a direct influence on mRNA expression in gastric cancer, cDNA microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and gene expression profiling were performed using 17 K cDNA microarrays. A set of 158 genes showing Pearson correlation coefficients over 0.6 between DNA copy number changes and mRNA expression level variations was selected. In an independent gene expression profiling of 60 tissue samples, the 158 genes were able to distinguish most of the normal and tumor tissues in an unsupervised hierarchical clustering, suggesting that the differential expression patterns displayed by this specific group of genes are most likely based on the gene copy number changes. Furthermore, 43 statistically significant (P < 0.01) genes were selected that correctly distinguished all of the tissue samples. The copy number changes detected by aCGH can be verified by fluorescence in situ hybridization and real-time polymerase chain reaction. The selected genes include those that were previously identified as being tumor suppressors or deleted in various tumors, including GATA binding protein 4 (GATA4), monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), cyclin C (CCNC), and oncogenes including malignant fibrous histiocytoma amplified sequence 1 (MFHAS1/MASL1), high mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2), PPAR binding protein (PPARBP), growth factor receptor-bound protein 7 (GRB7), and TBC1 (tre-2, BUB2, cdc16) domain family, member 1 (TBC1D1).
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