[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA-seq is a powerful tool for comprehensive characterization of whole transcriptome at both gene and exon levels and with a unique ability of identifying novel splicing variants. To date, RNA-seq analysis of HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has not been reported. In this study, we performed transcriptome analyses for 10 matched pairs of cancer and non-cancerous tissues from HCC patients on Solexa/Illumina GAII platform. On average, about 21.6 million sequencing reads and 10.6 million aligned reads were obtained for samples sequenced on each lane, which was able to identify >50% of all the annotated genes for each sample. Furthermore, we identified 1,378 significantly differently expressed genes (DEGs) and 24, 338 differentially expressed exons (DEEs). Comprehensive function analyses indicated that cell growth-related, metabolism-related and immune-related pathways were most significantly enriched by DEGs, pointing to a complex mechanism for HCC carcinogenesis. Positional gene enrichment analysis showed that DEGs were most significantly enriched at chromosome 8q21.3-24.3. The most interesting findings were from the analysis at exon levels where we characterized three major patterns of expression changes between gene and exon levels, implying a much complex landscape of transcript-specific differential expressions in HCC. Finally, we identified a novel highly up-regulated exon-exon junction in ATAD2 gene in HCC tissues. Overall, to our best knowledge, our study represents the most comprehensive characterization of HBV-related HCC transcriptome including exon level expression changes and novel splicing variants, which illustrated the power of RNA-seq and provided important clues for understanding the molecular mechanisms of HCC pathogenesis at system-wide levels.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e26168. · 3.73 Impact Factor