Research Papers:

MicroRNA-15a/16-1 cluster located at chromosome 13q14 is down-regulated but displays different expression pattern and prognostic significance in multiple myeloma

Fei Li _, Yan Xu, Shuhui Deng, Zengjun Li, Dehui Zou, Shuhua Yi, Weiwei Sui, Mu Hao and Lugui Qiu

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:38270-38282. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5681

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Fei Li1,2, Yan Xu1, Shuhui Deng1, Zengjun Li1, Dehui Zou1, Shuhua Yi1, Weiwei Sui1, Mu Hao1,*, Lugui Qiu1,*

1State Key Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, Institute of Hematology and Blood Disease Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin 300020, China

2Department of Hematology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang 330006, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Mu Hao, e-mail: [email protected]

Lugui Qiu, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: multiple myeloma, miR-15a, miR-16-1, prognosis

Received: May 27, 2015     Accepted: September 30, 2015     Published: October 12, 2015


MiRNA-15a/16-1 cluster located at chromosome 13q14 has been confirmed to regulate critical genes associated with cell proliferation, apoptosis and drug resistance in multiple myeloma (MM). However, little is known about their expression pattern and prognostic value in MM patients. In this study, we have analyzed the expression levels of miR-15a/16-1 in 117 MM patients (90 newly diagnosed, 11 relapsed and 16 remission patients) and 19 health donors (HDs) by quantitative real-time PCR. Our results indicated that the expression levels of miR-15a and 16-1 were down-regulated in newly diagnosed MM patients as compared to HDs (P = 0.025; P < 0.001) and independent of del(13q14). Downregulation of miR-15a was significantly associated with disease progression and poor prognosis while miR-16-1 seemed to be a good diagnostic marker to distinguish MM from HDs with area under the curve (AUC) of 0.864, sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 73%. Furthermore, patients with miR-15a < 2.35 (low expression group) had significantly shorter PFS (P < 0.001) and OS (P < 0.001). After adjustment of the established prognostic variables including del(13q), del(17p), amp(1q21) and high risk genetic abnormality, low miR-15a expression (<2.35) was still a powerful independent predictor for PFS (P = 0.008) and OS (P = 0.038). In addition, miR-15a combined with high β2-MG and high risk genetic abnormality can further identify the high-risk subpopulations. Therefore, our data suggest that the expression patterns of miR-15a/16-1 are different in MM patients, and miR-15a seems to be linked with disease progression and prognosis while miR-16-1 acts as a valuable diagnostic marker.

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