BackgroundmicroRNAs (miRNAs) stably exist in circulating blood and are encapsulated in extracellular vesicles such as exosomes. The aims of this study were to identify which exosomal miRNAs are highly produced from epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cells, to analyze whether serum miRNA can be used to discriminate patients with EOC from healthy volunteers, and to investigate the functional role of exosomal miRNAs in ovarian cancer progression.
MethodsExosomes were collected from the culture media of serous ovarian cancer cell lines, namely TYK-nu and HeyA8 cells. An exosomal miRNA microarray revealed that several miRNAs including miR-99a-5p were specifically elevated in EOC-derived exosomes. Expression levels of serum miR-99a-5p in 62 patients with EOC, 26 patients with benign ovarian tumors, and 20 healthy volunteers were determined by miRNA quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. To investigate the role of exosomal miR-99a-5p in peritoneal dissemination, neighboring human peritoneal mesothelial cells (HPMCs) were treated with EOC-derived exosomes and then expression levels of miR-99a-5p were examined. Furthermore, mimics of miR-99a-5p were transfected into HPMCs and the effect of miR-99a-5p on cancer invasion was analyzed using a 3D culture model. Proteomic analysis with the tandem mass tag method was performed on HPMCs transfected with miR-99a-5p and then potential target genes of miR-99a-5p were examined.
ResultsThe serum miR-99a-5p levels were significantly increased in patients with EOC, compared with those in benign tumor patients and healthy volunteers (1.7-fold and 2.8-fold, respectively). A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed with a cut-off of 1.41 showed sensitivity and specificity of 0.85 and 0.75, respectively, for detecting EOC (area under the curve?=?0.88). Serum miR-99a-5p expression levels were significantly decreased after EOC surgeries (1.8 to 1.3, p?=?0.002), indicating that miR-99a-5p reflects tumor burden. Treatment with EOC-derived exosomes significantly increased miR-99a-5p expression in HPMCs. HPMCs transfected with miR-99a-5p promoted ovarian cancer invasion and exhibited increased expression levels of fibronectin and vitronectin.
ConclusionsSerum miR-99a-5p is significantly elevated in ovarian cancer patients. Exosomal miR-99a-5p from EOC cells promotes cell invasion by affecting HPMCs through fibronectin and vitronectin upregulation and may serve as a target for inhibiting ovarian cancer progression.
SUBMITTER: Yoshimura A