RNA-sequencing for transcriptional profiling of whole blood in early stage and metastatic pancreatic cancer patients

Sima Kalantari, Bahram Kazemi, Raheleh Roudi, Hakimeh Zali, Alberto D'Angelo, Ashraf Mohamadkhani, Zahra Madjd, Akram Pourshams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the transcriptional profile of whole blood in early and metastatic stages of pancreatic cancer (PaC) patients to identify potential diagnostic factors for early diagnosis. Blood samples from 18 participants (6 healthy individuals, 6 patients in early stage (I/II) PaC, and 6 patients in metastatic PaC) were analyzed by RNA-sequencing. The expression levels of identified genes were subsequently compared with their expression in pancreatic tumor tissues based on TCGA data reported in UALCAN and GEPIA2 databases. Overall, 331 and 724 genes were identified as differentially expressed genes in early and metastatic stages, respectively. Of these, 146 genes were shared by early and metastatic stages. Upregulation of PTCD3 and UBA52 genes and downregulation of A2M and ARID1B genes in PaC patients were observed from early stage to metastasis. TCGA database showed increasing trend in expression levels of these genes from stage I to IV in pancreatic tumor tissue. Finally, we found that low expression of PTCD3, A2M, and ARID1B genes and high expression of UBA52 gene were positively correlated with PaC patients survival. We identified a four-gene set (PTCD3, UBA52, A2M, and ARID1B) expressed in peripheral blood of early stage and metastatic PaC patients that may be useful for PaC early diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-249
Number of pages12
JournalCell Biology International
Issue number1
Early online date13 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023


  • blood profiling
  • early stage
  • metastasis
  • pancreatic cancer
  • RNA-sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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