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Distinguishing Tumor and Stromal Sources of MicroRNAs Linked to Metastasis in Cutaneous Melanoma.


ABSTRACT: MicroRNA (miRNA) dysregulation in cancer causes changes in gene expression programs regulating tumor progression and metastasis. Candidate metastasis suppressor miRNA are often identified by differential expression in primary tumors compared to metastases. Here, we performed comprehensive analysis of miRNA expression in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) skin cutaneous melanoma (SKCM) tumors (97 primary, 350 metastatic), and identified candidate metastasis-suppressor miRNAs. Differential expression analysis revealed miRNA significantly downregulated in metastatic tumors, including miR-205, miR-203, miR-200a-c, and miR-141. Furthermore, sequential feature selection and classification analysis identified miR-205 and miR-203 as the miRNA best able to discriminate between primary and metastatic tumors. However, cell-type enrichment analysis revealed that gene expression signatures for epithelial cells, including keratinocytes and sebocytes, were present in primary tumors and significantly correlated with expression of the candidate metastasis-suppressor miRNA. Examination of miRNA expression in cell lines revealed that candidate metastasis-suppressor miRNA identified in the SKCM tumors, were largely absent in melanoma cells or melanocytes, and highly restricted to keratinocytes and other epithelial cell types. Indeed, the differences in stromal cell composition between primary and metastatic tumor tissues is the main basis for identification of differential miRNA that were previously classified as metastasis-suppressor miRNAs. We conclude that future studies must consider tumor-intrinsic and stromal sources of miRNA in their workflow to identify bone fide metastasis-suppressor miRNA in cutaneous melanoma and other cancers.

SUBMITTER: Watt K 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7260684 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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