The development and progression of cancer and the experimental reversal of tumorigenicity are accompanied by complex changes in patterns of gene expression. Microarrays of cDNA provide a powerful tool for studying these complex phenomena. The tumorigenic properties of a human melanoma cell line, UACC-903, can be suppressed by introduction of a normal human chromosome 6, resulting in a reduction of growth rate, restoration of contact inhibition, and suppression of both soft agar clonogenicity and tumorigenicity in nude mice. We used a high density microarray of 1,161 DNA elements to search for differences in gene expression associated with tumour suppression in this system. Fluorescent probes for hybridization were derived from two sources of cellular mRNA [UACC-903 and UACC-903(+6)] which were labelled with different fluors to provide a direct and internally controlled comparison of the mRNA levels corresponding to each arrayed gene. The fluorescence signals representing hybridization to each arrayed gene were analysed to determine the relative abundance in the two samples of mRNAs corresponding to each gene. Previously unrecognized alterations in the expression of specific genes provide leads for further investigation of the genetic basis of the tumorigenic phenotype of these cells.
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