Meta-analysis of expression and the targeting of cell adhesion associated genes in nine cancer types - A one research lab re-evaluation

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Cancer presents as a highly heterogeneous disease with partly overlapping and partly distinct (epi)genetic characteristics. These characteristics determine inherent and acquired resistance, which need to be overcome for improving patient survival. In line with the global efforts in identifying druggable resistance factors, extensive preclinical research of the Cordes lab and others designated the cancer adhesome as a critical and general therapy resistance mechanism with multiple druggable cancer targets. In our study, we addressed pancancer cell adhesion mechanisms by connecting the preclinical datasets generated in the Cordes lab with publicly available transcriptomic and patient survival data. We identified similarly changed differentially expressed genes (scDEGs) in nine cancers and their corresponding cell models relative to normal tissues. Those scDEGs interconnected with 212 molecular targets from Cordes lab datasets generated during two decades of research on adhesome and radiobiology. Intriguingly, integrative analysis of adhesion associated scDEGs, TCGA patient survival and protein-protein network reconstruction revealed a set of overexpressed genes adversely affecting overall cancer patient survival and specifically the survival in radiotherapy-treated cohorts. This pancancer gene set includes key integrins (e.g. ITGA6, ITGB1, ITGB4) and their interconnectors (e.g. SPP1, TGFBI), affirming their critical role in the cancer adhesion resistome. In summary, this meta-analysis demonstrates the importance of the adhesome in general, and integrins together with their interconnectors in particular, as potentially conserved determinants and therapeutic targets in cancer.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2824-2836
Number of pages13
JournalComputational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC10189096
Scopus 85154622989
ORCID /0000-0001-5684-629X/work/146646162
Mendeley e16c95e4-3cdc-3058-b661-6de2c30e94b5
WOS 000998890600001
ORCID /0000-0002-2844-053X/work/153110484


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards

Sustainable Development Goals


  • Adhesion, Gene expression, Integrins, Network analysis, Pancancer