The profiling of differentially expressed genes from primary tumor samples using cDNA expression array can reveal new tumor markers as well as target genes for therapeutic intervention. Using cDNA expression array technology, we produced an expression profile of genes that are associated with human cervical cancer. Hybridization of the cDNA blotting membrane (588 genes on a single membrane) was performed with 32P-labeled cDNA probes synthesized from RNA isolated from either normal cervix or cervical cancer. Parallel analyses of the hybridized signals enabled us to profile genes that were differentially expressed in cervical cancer. In each experiment, the extent of hybridization of each gene was evaluated by comparison with the most abundant mRNAs in the human cervix. These include myc proto-oncogene, 40S ribosomal protein S19, heat shock proteins, leukosialin S (CD43), integrin alphaL (CD11A), calgranulin (A), and CDK4 inhibitor (p16ink4). No detectable changes were observed in the expression levels of these genes. Several mRNAs, such as those encoding guanine nucleotide-binding protein Gs (alpha subunit), leukocyte adhesion protein (LFA1-beta), nuclear factor NF45, homeobox protein Hox-A1, and beta-catenin were detected in increased levels in cervical cancer. Genes that showed decreased expression in cervical cancer tissue were a group of apoptosis-related proteins, cell adhesion molecules, nuclear transcription factors, and a homeobox protein (Hox7). For example, the expression levels of Smad1 and Hox7 were consistently decreased in all tumor tissues tested. Northern analysis of Smad1 and Hox7 RNA in primary cervical tumor tissues and cervical carcinoma cell lines indicated that, in general, the mRNA levels of these genes were decreased in human cervical cancer. The precise relationship between the altered expression of these genes and cervical tumorigenesis is a matter of further investigation.

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