DOI: 10.3390/proteomes11030026 ISSN:

Algorithmically Reconstructed Molecular Pathways as the New Generation of Prognostic Molecular Biomarkers in Human Solid Cancers

Marianna Zolotovskaia, Maks Kovalenko, Polina Pugacheva, Victor Tkachev, Alexander Simonov, Maxim Sorokin, Alexander Seryakov, Andrew Garazha, Nurshat Gaifullin, Marina Sekacheva, Galina Zakharova, Anton A. Buzdin
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Structural Biology

Individual gene expression and molecular pathway activation profiles were shown to be effective biomarkers in many cancers. Here, we used the human interactome model to algorithmically build 7470 molecular pathways centered around individual gene products. We assessed their associations with tumor type and survival in comparison with the previous generation of molecular pathway biomarkers (3022 “classical” pathways) and with the RNA transcripts or proteomic profiles of individual genes, for 8141 and 1117 samples, respectively. For all analytes in RNA and proteomic data, respectively, we found a total of 7441 and 7343 potential biomarker associations for gene-centric pathways, 3020 and 2950 for classical pathways, and 24,349 and 6742 for individual genes. Overall, the percentage of RNA biomarkers was statistically significantly higher for both types of pathways than for individual genes (p < 0.05). In turn, both types of pathways showed comparable performance. The percentage of cancer-type-specific biomarkers was comparable between proteomic and transcriptomic levels, but the proportion of survival biomarkers was dramatically lower for proteomic data. Thus, we conclude that pathway activation level is the advanced type of biomarker for RNA and proteomic data, and momentary algorithmic computer building of pathways is a new credible alternative to time-consuming hypothesis-driven manual pathway curation and reconstruction.

More from our Archive