A microRNA activity map of human mesenchymal tumors: connections to oncogenic pathways; an integrative transcriptomic study.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are nucleic acid regulators of many human mRNAs, and are associated with many tumorigenic processes. miRNA expression levels have been used in profiling studies, but some evidence suggests that expression levels do not fully capture miRNA regulatory activity. In this study we integrate multiple gene expression datasets to determine miRNA activity patterns associated with cancer phenotypes and oncogenic pathways in mesenchymal tumors - a very heterogeneous class of malignancies. RESULTS:Using a computational method, we identified differentially activated miRNAs between 77 normal tissue specimens and 135 sarcomas and we validated many of these findings with microarray interrogation of an independent, paraffin-based cohort of 18 tumors. We also showed that miRNA activity is imperfectly correlated with miRNA expression levels. Using next-generation miRNA sequencing we identified potential base sequence alterations which may explain differential activity. We then analyzed miRNA activity changes related to the RAS-pathway and found 21 miRNAs that switch from silenced to activated status in parallel with RAS activation. Importantly, nearly half of these 21 miRNAs were predicted to regulate integral parts of the miRNA processing machinery, and our gene expression analysis revealed significant reductions of these transcripts in RAS-active tumors. These results suggest an association between RAS signaling and miRNA processing in which miRNAs may attenuate their own biogenesis. CONCLUSIONS:Our study represents the first gene expression-based investigation of miRNA regulatory activity in human sarcomas, and our findings indicate that miRNA activity patterns derived from integrated transcriptomic data are reproducible and biologically informative in cancer. We identified an association between RAS signaling and miRNA processing, and demonstrated sequence alterations as plausible causes for differential miRNA activity. Finally, our study highlights the value of systems level integrative miRNA/mRNA assessment with high-throughput genomic data, and the applicability of paraffin-tissue-derived RNA for validation of novel findings.
Project description:Uterine sarcomas and mixed epithelial-mesenchymal uterine tumors are a heterogeneous group of rare tumors for which there are very few diagnostic markers available. As aberrant microRNA (miRNA) expression patterns represent putative diagnostic cancer markers, we aimed to identify miRNA expression profiles of the major uterine sarcoma subtypes and mixed epithelial-mesenchymal tumors of the uterus. Eighty-eight miRNAs were assessed by quantitative RT-PCR in cancerous and non-cancerous tissue samples collected from 29 patients with endometrial sarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, and mixed epithelial-mesenchymal tumors. Tumor and control samples significantly (P < 0.05) differed in the expression of miR-23b, miR-1, let-7f, and let-7c in endometrial sarcomas, and miR-1, let-7c, miR-133b, let-7b, miR-143, let-7a, let-7d, let-7e, let-7g, miR-222, let-7i, and miR-214 in mixed epithelial-mesenchymal tumors. All the significantly changed miRNAs were down-regulated in the malignant tissues as compared to their normal counterparts. This may suggest their tumor suppressor role in these malignancies. No statistically significant changes in miRNA expression levels were found between leiomyosarcoma tumors and controls. The identified miRNAs warrant further studies as valuable candidate markers for the differential diagnosis of uterine sarcomas from benign uterine lesions and between uterine sarcoma subtypes.
Project description:Due to their rarity and diversity, sarcomas are difficult to diagnose. Consequently, there is an urgent demand for a novel diagnostic test for these cancers. In this study, we investigated serum miRNA profiles from 1002 patients with bone and soft tissue tumors representing more than 43 histological subtypes, including sarcomas, intermediate tumors, and benign tumors, to determine whether serum miRNA profiles could be used to specifically detect sarcomas. Circulating serum miRNA profiles in sarcoma patients were clearly distinct from those in patients with other types of tumors. Using the serum levels of seven miRNAs, we developed a molecular detector, Index VI, that could distinguish sarcoma patients from benign and healthy controls with remarkably high sensitivity (90%) and specificity (95%), regardless of histological subtype. Index VI provides an approach to the early and precise detection of sarcomas, potentially leading to curative treatment and longer survival.
Project description:Archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues represent an extraordinary source of smallRNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs). Contrary to other RNA molecules, miRNAs are stable, nuclease-resistant and quantifiable even in low quality samples. The accurate assessment of miRNA levels in archival samples is of great interest for many pathological conditions, including cancer. In human tumors, microRNA expression is type-specific and can be used as diagnostic, prognostic or response-to-treatment biomarker. In this study, we provide a method for multiple miRNA quantification in 96-well plates, using EvaGreen-based droplet digital PCR technology and miRCURY LNA miRNA assays. This approach allows the absolute quantification of a customizable panel of miRNAs at the same time and under identical experimental conditions, to be used for diagnostic or prognostic applications.
Project description:Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS) is one of the most common soft tissue malignancies. Patients with large, high-grade sarcomas often develop fatal lung metastases. Understanding the mechanisms underlying sarcoma metastasis is needed to improve treatment of these patients. Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. Global alterations in miRNAs are frequently observed in a number of disease states including cancer. The signalling pathways that regulate miRNA biogenesis are beginning to emerge. To test the relevance of specific oncogenic mutations in miRNA biogenesis in sarcoma, we used primary soft tissue sarcomas expressing either Braf(V600E) or Kras(G12D). We found that Braf(V600E) mutant tumours, which have increased MAPK signalling, have higher levels of mature miRNAs and enhanced miRNA processing. To investigate the relevance of oncogene-dependent alterations in miRNA biogenesis, we introduced conditional mutations in Dicer and showed that Dicer haploinsufficiency promotes the development of distant metastases in an oncogene-dependent manner. These results demonstrate that a specific oncogenic mutation can cooperate with mutation in Dicer to promote tumour progression in vivo.
Project description:Deregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is a typical feature of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the in vivo relevance of miRNAs along hepatocarcinogenesis remains largely unknown. Here, we show that liver tumors induced in mice by c-Myc overexpression or AKT/Ras co-expression exhibit distinct miRNA expression profiles. Among the downregulated miRNAs, eight (miR-101, miR-107, miR-122, miR-29, miR-365, miR-375, miR-378, and miR-802) were selected and their tumor suppressor activity was determined by overexpressing each of them together with c-Myc or AKT/Ras oncogenes in mouse livers via hydrodynamic transfection. The tumor suppressor activity of these microRNAs was extremely heterogeneous in c-Myc and AKT/Ras mice: while miR-378 had no tumor suppressor activity, miR-107, mir-122, miR-29, miR-365 and miR-802 exhibited weak to moderate tumor suppressor potential. Noticeably, miR-375 showed limited antineoplastic activity against c-Myc driven tumorigenesis, whereas it strongly inhibited AKT/Ras induced hepatocarcinogenesis. Furthermore, miR-101 significantly suppressed both c-Myc and AKT/Ras liver tumor development. Altogether, the present data demonstrate that different oncogenes induce distinct miRNA patterns, whose modulation differently affects hepatocarcinogenesis depending on the driving oncogenes. Finally, our findings support a strong tumor suppressor activity of miR-101 in liver cancer models regardless of the driver oncogenes involved, thus representing a promising therapeutic target in human HCC.
Project description:Background: Sarcomas are rare malignant tumors of mesenchymal origin. The discovery of circulating biomarkers with high diagnostic value could supplement diagnosis of this heterogenous group of tumors. The aim of this study was to identify the profiles of circulating miRNA (c-miRNAs) in four groups of common bone and soft tissue sarcomas. Methods: At the time of diagnosis, blood samples were collected from 86 patients: 36 with locally advanced/unresectable/metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) who received first-line treatment with imatinib; 16 with locally advanced osteosarcoma (OS); 26 with locally advanced synovial sarcoma (SS); and eight with locally advanced Ewing sarcoma (ES). In addition, samples were collected from 30 healthy controls. C-miRNAs were isolated using a miRCURY RNA Isolation Kit, followed by preparation of cDNA libraries and sequencing on the Ion Proton platform. Results: Pair-wise comparisons identified 156 unique c-miRNAs (adjusted P-value < 0.05) showing significant dysregulation between controls and patients; of these, 24, 36, 42, and 99 differentiated controls from pretherapeutic OS, SS, ES, and GIST, respectively. Ten c-miRNAs were commonly altered in at least three sarcoma types. Receiver operating characteristic curves and area under the curve (ROC-AUC) analyses revealed that a four-miRNA diagnostic classifier was able to differentiate controls from ES, GIST, OS, and SS, with AUC-ROC values of 1, 0.97, 0.95, and 0.94, respectively. Conclusions: Aberrant miRNA expression signatures were identified in serum from patients with four different sarcoma subtypes. Differences in miRNA expression profiles between sarcoma patients and healthy volunteers suggest that miRNAs may play a role in sarcoma development.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To study the differential expression of microRNA (miRNA) profiles between intraocular medulloepithelioma (ME) and normal control tissue (CT).<h4>Material and methods</h4>Total RNA was extracted from formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) intraocular ME (n=7) and from age matched ciliary body controls (n=8). The clinical history and phenotype was recorded. MiRNA profiles were determined using the Affymetrix GeneChip miRNA Arrays analyzed using expression console 1.3 software. Validation of significantly dysregulated miRNA was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. The web-based DNA Intelligent Analysis (DIANA)-miRPath v2.0 was used to perform enrichment analysis of differentially expressed (DE) miRNA gene targets in Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway.<h4>Results</h4>The pathologic evaluation revealed one benign (benign non-teratoid, n=1) and six malignant tumors (malignant teratoid, n=2; malignant non-teratoid, n = 4). A total of 88 miRNAs were upregulated and 43 miRNAs were downregulated significantly (P<0.05) in the tumor specimens. Many of these significantly dysregulated miRNAs were known to play various roles in carcinogenesis and tumor behavior. RT-PCR validated three significantly upregulated miRNAs and three significantly downregulated miRNAs namely miR-217, miR-216a, miR-216b, miR-146a, miR-509-3p and miR-211. Many DE miRNAs that were significant in ME tumors showed dysregulation in retinoblastoma, glioblastoma, and precursor, normal and reactive human cartilage. Enriched pathway analysis suggested a significant association of upregulated miRNAs with 15 pathways involved in prion disease and several types of cancer. The pathways involving significantly downregulated miRNAs included the toll-like receptor (TLR) (p<4.36E-16) and Nuclear Factor kappa B (NF-?B) signaling pathways (p<9.00E-06).<h4>Conclusions</h4>We report significantly dysregulated miRNAs in intraocular ME tumors, which exhibited abnormal profiles in other cancers as well such as retinoblastoma and glioblastoma. Pathway analysis of all dysregulated miRNAs shared commonalities with other cancer pathways.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Metastasis is the major cause of death in colorectal cancer patients. Expression of certain miRNAs in the primary tumors has been shown to be associated with progression of colorectal cancer and the initiation of metastasis. In this study, we compared miRNA expression in primary colorectal cancer and corresponding liver metastases in order to get an idea of the oncogenic importance of the miRNAs in established metastases.<h4>Methods</h4>We analyzed the expression of miRNA-21, miRNA-31 and miRNA-373 in corresponding formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples of primary colorectal cancer, liver metastasis and healthy tissues of 29 patients by quantitative real-time PCR.<h4>Results</h4>All three miRNAs were significantly up-regulated in the primary tumor tissues as compared to healthy colon mucosa of the respective patients (p < 0.01). MiRNA-21 and miRNA-31 were also higher expressed in liver metastases as compared to healthy liver tissues (p < 0.01). No significant difference of expression of miRNA-31 and miRNA-373 was observed between primary tumors and metastases. Of note, miRNA-21 expression was significantly reduced in liver metastases as compared to the primary colorectal tumors (p < 0.01).<h4>Conclusion</h4>In the context of previous studies demonstrating increased miRNA-21 expression in metastatic primary tumors, our findings raise the question whether miRNA-21 might be involved in the initiation but not in the perpetuation and growth of metastases.
Project description:The highly conserved RAS-mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway is involved in a wide range of cellular processes including differentiation, proliferation, and survival. Somatic mutations in genes encoding RAS-MAPK components frequently occur in many tumors, making the RAS-MAPK a critical pathway in human cancer. Since the pioneering study reporting that let-7 miRNA acted as tumor suppressor by repressing the RAS oncogene, growing evidence has suggested the importance of miRNAs targeting the RAS-MAPK in oncogenesis. MiRNAs alterations in human cancers may act as a rheostat of the oncogenic RAS signal that is often amplified as cancers progress. However, specific mechanisms leading to miRNAs deregulation and their functional consequences in cancer are far from being fully elucidated. In this review, we provide an experimental-validated map of RAS-MAPK oncomiRs and tumor suppressor miRNAs from transmembrane receptor to downstream ERK proteins. MiRNAs could be further considered as potential genetic biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, or therapeutic purpose.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are excellent tumor biomarkers because of their cell-type specificity and abundance. However, many miRNA detection methods, such as real-time PCR, obliterate valuable visuospatial information in tissue samples. To enable miRNA visualization in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues, we developed multicolor miRNA FISH. As a proof of concept, we used this method to differentiate two skin tumors, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), with overlapping histologic features but distinct cellular origins. Using sequencing-based miRNA profiling and discriminant analysis, we identified the tumor-specific miRNAs miR-205 and miR-375 in BCC and MCC, respectively. We addressed three major shortcomings in miRNA FISH, identifying optimal conditions for miRNA fixation and ribosomal RNA (rRNA) retention using model compounds and high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses, enhancing signal amplification and detection by increasing probe-hapten linker lengths, and improving probe specificity using shortened probes with minimal rRNA sequence complementarity. We validated our method on 4 BCC and 12 MCC tumors. Amplified miR-205 and miR-375 signals were normalized against directly detectable reference rRNA signals. Tumors were classified using predefined cutoff values, and all were correctly identified in blinded analysis. Our study establishes a reliable miRNA FISH technique for parallel visualization of differentially expressed miRNAs in FFPE tumor tissues.