Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), which is the most common subtype of esophageal cancers, is the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide with a five-year survival rate of 19%. Identification of efficient biomarkers for early detection and better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of ESCC may offer reduced mortality. However, proper biomarkers for clinical diagnosis and prognosis have not been defined yet. In the presented study, we employed a systematic and integrative ‘omics’ strategy to reconstruct networks of transcriptional regulation and protein-protein interaction to identify novel biomarkers, potential molecular targets, and mechanisms of transcriptional control in ESCC. Towards this end, we revealed 30 down-regulated and 21 upregulated genes as ESCC specific biomarkers since these were differentially expressed between 91 ESCC tumor samples compared to normal tissues in five different datasets. We report the association of ACPP, C2orf54, DYNLT3, ENDOU, FMO2, and KANK1 (down-regulated genes) and COL10A1, FNDC3B, HOMER3, MARCKSL1, and RFC4 (up-regulated genes) to ESCC for the first time. Further, the ESCC driven molecular pathways were also constructed to elucidate the molecular mechanism of the disease; specifically several metabolic pathways were down-regulated while the signaling pathways were up-regulated. Additionally, reporter metabolites for ESCC were analyzed and metabolic dysfunction was ascertained in arachidonic acid metabolism and steroid hormone biosynthesis pathways. The multi-omics network strategy presented here may enable discovery of novel biomarkers and targets for personalized medicine in ESCC patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-736
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Cancer Drug Targets
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Cancer Research


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