Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Aug 28, 2019; 25(32): 4727-4738
Published online Aug 28, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i32.4727
Integrative analysis of the inverse expression patterns in pancreas development and cancer progression
Hong-Liang Zang, Guo-Min Huang, Hai-Ying Ju, Xiao-Feng Tian
Hong-Liang Zang, Guo-Min Huang, Xiao-Feng Tian, Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130033, Jilin Province, China
Hai-Ying Ju, Department of Hematology, Jilin Province Blood Center, Changchun 130000, Jilin Province, China
Author contributions: Zang HL performed the majority of experiments and analyzed the data; Huang GM performed the molecular investigations; Ju HY designed and coordinated the research; Tian XF wrote the paper.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Xiao-Feng Tian, MSc, Attending Doctor, Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, No.126 Sendai Street, Changchun 130033, Jilin Province, China.
Telephone: +86-431-84995999
Received: May 5, 2019
Peer-review started: May 5, 2019
First decision: June 10, 2019
Revised: July 5, 2019
Accepted: July 19, 2019
Article in press: July 19, 2019
Published online: August 28, 2019

As the malignant tumor, pancreatic cancer with a meager 5-years survival rate has been widely concerning. However, the molecular mechanisms that result in malignant transformation of pancreatic cells remain elusive.


To investigate the gene expression profiles in normal or malignant transformed pancreas development.


MaSigPro and ANOVA were performed on two pancreas development datasets downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Six pancreatic cancer datasets collected from TCGA database were used to establish differentially expressed genes related to pancreas development and pancreatic cancer. Moreover, gene clusters with highly similar interpretation patterns between pancreas development and pancreatic cancer progression were established by self-organizing map and singular value decomposition. Additionally, the hypergeometric test was performed to compare the corresponding interpretation patterns. Abnormal regions of metabolic pathway were analyzed using the Sub-pathway-GM method.


This study established the continuously upregulated and downregulated genes at different stages in pancreas development and progression of pancreatic cancer. Through analysis of the differentially expressed genes, we established the inverse and consistent direction development-cancer pattern associations. Based on the application of the Subpathway-GM analysis, we established 17 significant metabolic sub-pathways that were closely associated with pancreatic cancer. Of note, the most significant metabolites sub-pathway was related to glycerophospholipid metabolism.


The inverse and consistent direction development-cancer pattern associations were established. There was a significant correlation in the inverse patterns, but not consistent direction patterns.

Keywords: Pancreatic cancer, Pancreas development, Inverse pattern, Metabolites subpathway

Core tip: Here we analyzed the differentially expressed genes during pancreas development and pancreatic cancer progression. We noticed that genes that up-regulated in tumorigenesis were conversely suppressed in the development of pancreas. Reciprocally, upregulated gene expression pattern during pancreas development were negatively correlated with pancreatic cancer progression. Additionally, 17 significant metabolic sub-pathways, especially glycerophospholipid metabolism, were identified, which is highly correlated with pancreas cancer development.