RNAseq expression patterns of canine invasive urothelial carcinoma reveal two distinct tumor clusters and shared regions of dysregulation with human bladder tumors. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Invasive urothelial carcinoma (iUC) is highly similar between dogs and humans in terms of pathologic presentation, molecular subtypes, response to treatment and age at onset. Thus, the dog is an established and relevant model for testing and development of targeted drugs benefiting both canine and human patients. We sought to identify gene expression patterns associated with two primary types of canine iUC tumors: those that express a common somatic mutation in the BRAF gene, and those that do not. METHODS: We performed RNAseq on tumor and normal tissues from pet dogs. Analysis of differential expression and clustering, and positional and individual expression was used to develop gene set enrichment profiles distinguishing iUC tumors with and without BRAFV595E mutations, as well as genomic regions harboring excessive numbers of dysregulated genes. RESULTS: We identified two expression clusters that are defined by the presence/absence of a BRAFV595E (BRAFV600E in humans) somatic mutation. BRAFV595E tumors shared significantly more dysregulated genes than BRAF wild-type tumors, and vice versa, with 398 genes differentiating the two clusters. Key genes fall into clades of limited function: tissue development, cell cycle regulation, immune response, and membrane transport. The genomic site with highest number of dysregulated genes overall lies in a locus corresponding to human chromosome 8q24, a region frequently amplified in human urothelial cancers. CONCLUSIONS: These data identify critical sets of genes that are differently regulated in association with an activating mutation in the MAPK/ERK pathway in canine iUC tumors. The experiments also highlight the value of the canine system in identifying expression patterns associated with a common, shared cancer.

published proceedings

  • BMC Cancer

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Parker, H. G., Dhawan, D., Harris, A. C., Ramos-Vara, J. A., Davis, B. W., Knapp, D. W., & Ostrander, E. A.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Parker, Heidi G||Dhawan, Deepika||Harris, Alex C||Ramos-Vara, Jose A||Davis, Brian W||Knapp, Deborah W||Ostrander, Elaine A

publication date

  • March 2020