Whole transcriptome profiling is a promising technique in adrenal studies; however, whole transcriptome profiling of adrenal disease using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples has to be further explored. The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of transcriptome data from FFPE samples of adrenocortical tumors. We performed whole transcriptome profiling of FFPE and fresh frozen samples of adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC, n = 3), aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA, n = 3), and cortisol-producing adenoma (CPA, n = 3), and examined the similarity between the transcriptome data. We further examined whether the transcriptome data of FFPE samples could be used to distinguish tumor types and detect marker genes. The number of read counts was smaller in FFPE samples than in fresh frozen samples (P < 0.01), while the number of genes detected was similar (P = 0.39). The gene expression profiles of FFPE and fresh frozen samples were highly correlated (r = 0.93, P < 0.01). Tumor types could be distinguished by consensus clustering and principal component analysis using transcriptome data from FFPE samples. In the differential expression analysis between ACC and APA-CPA, known marker genes of ACC (e.g., CCNB2, TOP2A, and MAD2L1) were detected in FFPE samples of ACC. In the differential expression analysis between APA and CPA, known marker genes of APA (e.g., CYP11B2, VSNL1, and KCNJ5) were detected in the APA of FFPE samples. The results suggest that FFPE samples may be a reliable alternative to fresh frozen samples for whole transcriptome profiling of adrenocortical tumors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism