Expression of polarity genes in human cancer

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13 Scopus citations


Polarity protein complexes are crucial for epithelial apical–basal polarity and directed cell migration. Since alterations of these processes are common in cancer, polarity proteins have been proposed to function as tumor suppressors or oncogenic promoters. Here, we review the current understanding of polarity protein functions in epithelial homeostasis, as well as tumor formation and progression. As most previous studies focused on the function of single polarity proteins in simplified model systems, we used a genomics approach to systematically examine and identify the expression profiles of polarity genes in human cancer. The expression profiles of polarity genes were distinct in different human tissues and classified cancer types. Additionally, polarity expression profiles correlated with disease progression and aggressiveness, as well as with identified cancer types, where specific polarity genes were com-monly altered. In the case of Scribble, gene expression analysis indicated its common amplification and upregulation in human cancer, suggesting a tumor promoting function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-28
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Informatics
StatePublished - Mar 30 2015


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer genomics
  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Polarity proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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