Transcriptional programs following genetic alterations in p53, INK4A, and H-Ras genes along defined stages of malignant transformation

Michael Milyavsky, Yuval Tabach, Igor Shats, Neta Erez, Yehudit Cohen, Xiaohu Tang, Marina Kalis, Ira Kogan, Yosef Buganim, Naomi Goldfinger, Doron Ginsberg, Curtis C. Harris, Eytan Domany, Varda Rotter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The difficulty to dissect a complex phenotype of established malignant cells to several critical transcriptional programs greatly impends our understanding of the malignant transformation. The genetic elements required to transform some primary human cells to a tumorigenic state were described in several recent studies. We took the advantage of the global genomic profiling approach and tried to go one step further in the dissection of the transformation network. We sought to identify the genetic signatures and key target genes, which underlie the genetic alterations in p53, Ras, INK4A locus, and telotnerase, introduced in a stepwise manner into primary human fibroblasts. Here, we show that these are the minimally required genetic alterations for sarcomagenesis in vivo. A genome-wide expression profiling identified distinct genetic signatures corresponding to the genetic alterations listed above. Most importantly, unique transformation hallmarks, such as differentiation block, aberrant mitotic progression, increased angiogenesis, and invasiveness, were identified and coupled with genetic signatures assigned for the genetic alterations in the p53, INK4A locus, and H-Ras, respectively. Furthermore, a transcriptional program that defines the cellular response to p53 inactivation was an excellent predictor of metastasis development and bad prognosis in breast cancer patients. Deciphering these transformation fingerprints, which are affected by the most common oncogenic mutations, provides considerable insight into regulatory circuits controlling malignant transformation and will hopefully open new avenues for rational therapeutic decisions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4530-4543
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


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