Heme-related gene expression signatures of meat intakes in lung cancer tissues

Tram Kim Lam, Melissa Rotunno, Brid M. Ryan, Angela C. Pesatori, Pier Alberto Bertazzi, Margaret Spitz, Neil E. Caporaso, Maria Teresa Landi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lung cancer causes more deaths worldwide than any other cancer. In addition to cigarette smoking, dietary factors may contribute to lung carcinogenesis. Epidemiologic studies, including the environment and genetics in lung cancer etiology (EAGLE), have reported increased consumption of red/processed meats to be associated with higher risk of lung cancer. Heme-iron toxicity may link meat intake with cancer. We investigated this hypothesis in meat-related lung carcinogenesis using whole genome expression. We measured genome-wide expression (HG-U133A) in 49 tumor and 42 non-involved fresh frozen lung tissues of 64 adenocarcinoma EAGLE patients. We studied gene expression profiles by high-versus-low meat consumption, with and without adjustment by sex, age, and smoking. Threshold for significance was a false discovery rate (FDR) ≤0.15. We studied whether the identified genes played a role in heme-iron related processes by means of manually curated literature search and gene ontology-based pathway analysis. We found that gene expression of 232 annotated genes in tumor tissue significantly distinguished lung adenocarcinoma cases who consumed above/below the median intake of fresh red meats (FDR=0.12). Sixty-three (∼28%) of the 232 identified genes (12 expected by chance, P-value

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-556
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Gene expression
  • Heme-iron
  • Lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology


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