Research Papers:

Circulating microRNA124-3p, microRNA9-3p and microRNA196b-5p may be potential signatures for differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules

Sui Yu, Xiaoling Liu, Yifei Zhang, Jing Li, Shulin Chen, Haitao Zheng, Ruizhen Reng, Chenglin Zhang, Jian Chen and Li Chen _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:84165-84177. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12389

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Sui Yu1,3,*, Xiaoling Liu1,2,*, Yifei Zhang3,*, Jing Li1,2, Shulin Chen3, Haitao Zheng3, Ruizhen Reng3, Chenglin Zhang3, Jian Chen3, Li Chen1

1Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China

2The Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Remodeling and Function Research, Chinese Ministry of Education and Chinese Ministry of Health, The State and Shandong Province Joint Key Laboratory of Translational Cardiovascular Medicine, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China

3The Affiliated Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital of Qingdao University, Yantai, Shandong, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Li Chen, email: [email protected]

Keywords: papillary thyroid carcinoma, circulating microRNAs, miR-124-3p, miR-9-3p, miR-196b-5p

Received: March 17, 2016     Accepted: September 24, 2016     Published: October 01, 2016


It is important to develop an effective auxiliary approach to distinguish papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) from benign nodules because a considerable proportion cannot be identified by fine-needle aspiration cytology at present, resulting in unnecessary thyroidectomy. Circulating miRNAs are potential biomarkers for differential diagnosis of tumors. We aimed to investigate the dysregulation of circulating miRNAs in PTC and evaluate the diagnostic value for differentiation of PTC from benign nodules. We first assessed the expression of miRNAs in patients with PTC, patients with benign nodules and healthy controls using a miRCURY LNA Array (n = 3 for each group). Expression of circulating miR-124-3p, miR-9-3p and miR-5691 was significantly up-regulated, while miR-4701 and miR-196b-5p were down-regulated in PTC patients. The dysregulation of miR-124-3p, miR-9-3p, miR-4701 and miR-196b-5p was further validated by qRT-PCR in fifty participants from each group. The expression of circulating miR-124-3p and miR-9-3p was significantly up-regulated in PTC patients. Both miR-124-3p and miR-9-3p could distinguish PTC from benign nodules with high sensitivity and specificity. There were no significant differences in the expression of circulating miR-4701 and miR-196b-5p between PTC patients and healthy controls. Nevertheless, patients with benign nodules showed a higher level of miR-196b-5p compared with that of PTC patients and healthy controls. ROC analysis indicated that miR-196b-5p had a good diagnostic value for differentiation of benign nodules from PTC. Our study suggested that miR-124-3p, miR-9-3p and miR-196b-5p may be potential signatures for differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules in eastern coastal areas of China.

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