Bayesian networks established functional differences between breast cancer subtypes

Trilla-Fuertes et al.
PLOS ONE 11 junio, 2020

Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease. In clinical practice, tumors are classified as hormonal receptor positive, Her2 positive and triple negative tumors. In previous works, our group defined a new hormonal receptor positive subgroup, the TN-like subtype, which had a prognosis and a molecular profile more similar to triple negative tumors. In this study, proteomics and Bayesian networks were used to characterize protein relationships in 96 breast tumor samples. Components obtained by these methods had a clear functional structure. The analysis of these components suggested differences in processes such as mitochondrial function or extracellular matrix between breast cancer subtypes, including our new defined subtype TN-like. In addition, one of the components, mainly related with extracellular matrix processes, had prognostic value in this cohort. Functional approaches allow to build hypotheses about regulatory mechanisms and to establish new relationships among proteins in the breast cancer context.

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