Effect of heterotypic interaction between breast cancer cell line MDA-MB231 and CCL-171 fibroblasts. (a) Biologically independent replicates of the monocultured fibroblast CCL-171, the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB231 and the mixed co-culture of CCL-171 and MDA-MB231 were grown for 48 h at low serum conditions and characterized by DNA microarray hybridization. Hierarchical clustering of a total of 4,333 elements that display a greater than 3-fold variance in expression in more than 3 different experimental samples. Data from individual elements or genes are represented as single rows, and different experiments are shown as columns. Red and green denote expression levels of the samples. The intensity of the color reflects the magnitude of the deviation from baseline. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of the experiments grouped the biological replicates together. Gene expression varied considerably between fibroblast and MDA-MB231 cultures, as expected for cells of mesenchymal or epithelial origin, respectively. The co-culture profile showed mainly intermediate expression levels. However, the vertical black bar marks a cluster of genes induced in all co-cultures compared to both monocultures, indicating that they are induced by heterotypic interaction. (b) Zooming in on the genes up-regulated in co-culture compared to monocultures reveals that they are associated with the response to interferon.
Buess et al. Genome Biology 2007 8:R191 doi:10.1186/gb-2007-8-9-r191