Research Papers:

Extensive screening of microRNA populations identifies hsa-miR-375 and hsa-miR-133a-3p as selective markers for human rectal and colon cancer

David Weber, Laurence Amar, Daniel Gödde and Christian Prinz _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:27256-27267. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25535

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David Weber1, Laurence Amar2, Daniel Gödde3 and Christian Prinz1

1Lehrstuhl für Innere Medizin 1, University of Witten, 42283 Wuppertal, Germany

2Institut des Neurosciences Paris-Saclay (Neuro-PSI)-CNRS UMR 9197, Université Paris-Saclay/Paris-Sud, 91405 Orsay, France

3Institut für Pathologie und Molekularpathologie, Helios Universitätsklinikum Wuppertal, 42283 Wuppertal, Germany

Correspondence to:

Christian Prinz, email: [email protected]

Keywords: differential expression; colorectal cancers; Illumina sequencing; matched tumor and normal tissues; hsa-miR-375 and hsa-miR-133a-3p

Received: August 15, 2017     Accepted: April 28, 2018     Published: June 05, 2018


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ~22-nt molecules exerting control of protein expression in cancer tissues. The current study determined the full spectrum of miRNA dysregulation in freshly isolated human colon or rectal cancer biopsies as well as in controls of healthy adjacent tissue (total of n = 100) using an Illumina sequencing technology. In this work, we aimed to identify miRNAs that may serve as future marker to discern between these two subtypes. DESeq2 analysis revealed 53 significantly dysregulated miRNAs in colon cancer, 67 miRNAs in rectal cancer, and 97 miRNAs in both at a Padj value < 0.05 and ≥ 10 read counts. 65% of miRNAs were upregulated in colon as well as rectal cancer. Highest significant dysregulation (Padj < 0.00001) was detected for hsa-miR-21-5p, -215-5p and -378a in both colon and rectal cancer. Among the group of miRNAs with Padj < 0.05 and more than 2-fold expression differences, hsa-miR-375 was detected in rectal cancer only, and hsa-miR-133a-3p only in colon cancer. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis confirmed highly distinct sensitivities for hsa-miR-375 to detect rectal cancer (area under the curve (AUC): 0.9), while hsa-miR-133a-3p (AUC: 0.89) had the highest sensitivity for detecting colon cancer. We conclude that hsa-miR-375 and hsa-miR-133a-3p may serve as new markers of rectal or colon cancer and should be further investigated to search for different etiologies of colorectal cancer.

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