Research Papers:

MicroRNA expression profiling in exosomes derived from gastric cancer stem-like cells

Zhan-Peng Sun, An-Qi Li, Wen-Huan Jia, Sen Ye, Grace Van Eps, Jian-Min Yu and Wei-Jun Yang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:93839-93855. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21288

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Zhan-Peng Sun1,2, An-Qi Li1, Wen-Huan Jia1, Sen Ye1, Grace Van Eps1, Jian-Min Yu1 and Wei-Jun Yang1,2

1College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

2Key Laboratory of Conservation Biology for Endangered Wildlife of The Ministry of Education, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

Correspondence to:

Wei-Jun Yang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: gastric cancer, cancer stem cells, exosomes, microRNAs, high-throughput sequencing

Received: November 30, 2016    Accepted: August 07, 2017    Published: September 27, 2017


Cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) have been identified as the initial cell in formation of cancer. Quiescent CSCs can “hide out” from traditional cancer therapy which may produce an initial response but are often unsuccessful in curing patients. Thus, levels of CSC in patients may be used as an indicator to measure the chance of recurrence of cancer after therapy. The goals of our work are to develop specific exosomal miRNA clusters for gastric CSCs that can potentially predict which patients are at high risk for developing gastric cancer (GC) in order to diagnose GC at an early stage. Here, upon sorting gastric CSCs, we initially isolated and characterized exosomes secreted by both gastric CSCs and their differentiated cells (DCs). By deep sequencing of each exosomal miRNA library, 11 typical differentially expressed miRNAs were identified as signature miRNAs for CSC. Gene target prediction, GO annotation and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis showed possible functions associated with these signature miRNAs. Hence, upon research of exosomal miRNAs that would influence behavior of tumor cells and their microenvironment, this study shows that a specific miRNA signature is present in CSCs, and implies that a potential miRNA biomarker reflecting the stage of gastric cancer progression and metastasis could be developed in the foreseeable future.

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