Alteration in gene pair correlations in tryptophan metabolism as a hallmark in cancer diagnosis

Meena Kishore Sakharkar*, Sarinder Kaur Dhillon, Karthic Rajamanickam, Benjamin Heng, Nady Braidy, Gilles J. Guillemin, Jian Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

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Tryptophan metabolism plays essential roles in both immunomodulation and cancer development. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, a rate-limiting enzyme in the metabolic pathway, is overexpressed in different types of cancer. To get a better understanding of the involvement of tryptophan metabolism in cancer development, we evaluated the expression and pairwise correlation of 62 genes in the metabolic pathway across 12 types of cancer. Only gene AOX1, encoding aldehyde oxidase 1, was ubiquitously downregulated, Furthermore, we observed that the 62 genes were widely and strongly correlated in normal controls, however, the gene pair correlations were significantly lost in tumor patients for all 12 types of cancer. This implicated that gene pair correlation coefficients of the tryptophan metabolic pathway could be applied as a prognostic and/or diagnostic biomarker for cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Tryptophan Research
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • cancers
  • differentially expressed gene
  • gene pair correlation
  • TCGA
  • Tryptophan metabolism

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