Comparative genome-wide expression profiling of malignant tumor counterparts across the human-mouse species barrier has a successful track record as a gene discovery tool in liver, breast, lung, prostate and other cancers, but has been largely neglected in studies on neoplasms of mature B-lymphocytes such as diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma (BL). We used global gene expression profiles of DLBCL-like tumors that arose spontaneously in Myc-transgenic C57BL/6 mice as a phylogenetically conserved filter for analyzing the human DLBCL transcriptome. The human and mouse lymphomas were found to have 60 concordantly deregulated genes in common, including 8 genes that Cox hazard regression analysis associated with overall survival in a published landmark dataset of DLBCL. Genetic network analysis of the 60 genes followed by biological validation studies indicate FOXM1 as a candidate DLBCL and BL gene, supporting a number of studies contending that FOXM1 is a therapeutic target in mature B cell tumors. Our findings demonstrate the value of the "mouse filter" for genomic studies of human B-lineage neoplasms for which a vast knowledge base already exists.
Tompkins, V. S., Han, S. S., Olivier, A., Syrbu, S., Bair, T., Button, A., … Janz, S. (2013). Identification of Candidate B-Lymphoma Genes by Cross-Species Gene Expression Profiling. PLoS ONE, 8(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0076889