A radiosensitivity MiRNA signature validated by the TCGA database for head and neck squamous cell carcinomas
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Ning Liu1,2,*, Rebecca J. Boohaker1,*, Chunling Jiang3,4,*, James R. Boohaker5, Bo Xu1,6
1Department of Oncology, Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, AL 35205, USA
2Department of Gastric Cancer Surgery, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin 300060, China
3Nanchang University Graduate School, Nanchang 330047, China
4Department of Radiation Oncology, Jiangxi Cancer Hospital, Nanchang 330029, China
5Department of Economics, American University, Washington, DC 20016, USA
6Cancer Cell Biology Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35205, USA
*These authors have contributed equally to this work
Keywords: miRNA, radiosensitivity, ATM
Received: January 29, 2015 Accepted: September 24, 2015 Published: October 06, 2015
MicroRNA, a class of small non-coding RNAs, play critical roles in the cellular response to DNA damage induced by ionizing irradiation (IR). Growing evidence shows alteration of miRNAs, in response to radiation, controls cellular radiosensitivity in DNA damage response pathways. However, it is less clear about the clinical relevance of miRNA regulation in radiosensitivity. Using an in vitro system, we conducted microarray to identify a miRNA signature to assess radiosensitivity. The data were validated by analyzing available Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) samples in the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) database. A total of 27 miRNAs showed differential alteration in response to IR in an Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) kinase-dependent manner. We validated the list and identified a five miRNA signature that can predict radiation responsiveness in HNSCC. Furthermore, we found that the expression level of ATM in these patients was correlated with the radiation responsiveness. Together, we demonstrate the feasibility of using a miRNA signature to predict the clinical responsiveness of HNSCC radiotherapy.
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