Differential expression and pathway analysis in drug-resistant triple-negative breast cancer cell lines using RNASeq analysis

Safa Shaheen, Febin Fawaz, Shaheen Shah, Dietrich Busselberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is among the most notorious types of breast cancer, the treatment of which does not give consistent results due to the absence of the three receptors (estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) as well as high amount of molecular variability. Drug resistance also contributes to treatment unresponsiveness. We studied differentially expressed genes, their biological roles, as well as pathways from RNA-Seq datasets of two different TNBC drug-resistant cell lines of Basal B subtype SUM159 and MDA-MB-231 treated with drugs JQ1 and Dexamethasone, respectively, to elucidate the mechanism of drug resistance. RNA sequencing(RNA-Seq) data analysis was done using edgeR which is an efficient program for determining the most significant Differentially Expressed Genes (DEGs), Gene Ontology (GO) terms, and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways. iPathway analysis was further used to obtain validated results using analysis that takes into consideration type, function, and interactions of genes in the pathway. The significant similarities and differences throw light into the molecular heterogeneity of TNBC, giving clues into the aspects that can be focused to overcome drug resistance. From this study, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction pathway appeared to be a key factor in TNBC drug resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1810
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2018



  • Basal b
  • Cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction
  • Drug resistance
  • RNASeq
  • Triple-negative breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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