Research Papers:

MicroRNA co-expression networks exhibit increased complexity in pancreatic ductal compared to Vater’s papilla adenocarcinoma

Tommaso Mazza, Massimiliano Copetti, Daniele Capocefalo, Caterina Fusilli, Tommaso Biagini, Massimo Carella, Antonio De Bonis, Nicola Mastrodonato, Ada Piepoli, Valerio Pazienza, Evaristo Maiello, Fabio Francesco di Mola, Pierluigi di Sebastiano, Angelo Andriulli and Francesca Tavano _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:105320-105339. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22184

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Tommaso Mazza1, Massimiliano Copetti2, Daniele Capocefalo1,8, Caterina Fusilli1, Tommaso Biagini1, Massimo Carella3, Antonio De Bonis4, Nicola Mastrodonato4, Ada Piepoli5, Valerio Pazienza5, Evaristo Maiello6, Fabio Francesco di Mola7, Pierluigi di Sebastiano7, Angelo Andriulli5 and Francesca Tavano5

1Unit of Bioinformatics, Research Hospital, San Giovanni Rotondo 71013, Italy

2Unit of Biostatistics, Research Hospital, San Giovanni Rotondo 71013, Italy

3Medical Genetics Unit, Research Hospital, San Giovanni Rotondo 71013, Italy

4Department of Surgery, Research Hospital, San Giovanni Rotondo 71013, Italy

5Division of Gastroenterology and Research Laboratory, San Giovanni Rotondo 71013, Italy

6Department of Oncology IRCCS “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza”, Research Hospital, San Giovanni Rotondo 71013, Italy

7Division of Surgical Oncology “SS Annunziata” Hospital, Chieti 66100, Italy

8Department of Cellular Biotechnologies and Haematology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00161, Italy

Correspondence to:

Francesca Tavano, email: [email protected]

Keywords: microRNA; pancrearic ductal adenocarcinoma; ampullary carcinoma

Received: December 06, 2016    Accepted: July 11, 2017    Published: October 31, 2017


MiRNA expression abnormalities in adenocarcinoma arising from pancreatic ductal system (PDAC) and Vater’s papilla (PVAC) could be associated with distinctive pathologic features and clinical cancer behaviours. Our previous miRNA expression profiling data on PDAC (n=9) and PVAC (n=4) were revaluated to define differences/similarities in miRNA expression patterns. Afterwards, in order to uncover target genes and core signalling pathways regulated by specific miRNAs in these two tumour entities, miRNA interaction networks were wired for each tumour entity, and experimentally validated target genes underwent pathways enrichment analysis.

One hundred and one miRNAs were altered, mainly over-expressed, in PDAC samples. Twenty-six miRNAs were deregulated in PVAC samples, where more miRNAs were down-expressed in tumours compared to normal tissues. Four miRNAs were significantly altered in both subgroups of patients, while 27 miRNAs were differentially expressed between PDAC and PVAC.

Although miRNA interaction networks were more complex and dense in PDAC than in PVAC, pathways enrichment analysis uncovered a functional overlapping between PDAC and PVAC. However, shared signalling events were influenced by different miRNA and/or genes in the two tumour entities.

Overall, specific miRNA expression patterns were involved in the regulation of a limited core signalling pathways in the biology landscape of PDAC and PVAC.

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