Purpose: MicroRNA (miRNA) is a newclass of small, noncoding RNA. The purpose of this study was to determine if miRNAs are differentially expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Experimental Design: More than 200 precursor and mature miRNAs were profiled by real-time PCR in 43 and 28 pairs of HCC and adjacent benign liver, respectively, and in normal liver specimens. Results: Several miRNAs including miR-199a, miR-21, and miR-301 were differentially expressed in the tumor compared with adjacent benign liver. A large number of mature and precursor miRNAs were up-regulated in the adjacent benign liver specimens that were both cirrhotic and hepatitis-positive comparedwith the uninfected, noncirrhotic specimens (P < 0.01). Interestingly, all of the miRNAs in this comparison had increased expression and none were decreased. The expression of 95 randomly selected mRNAs was not significantly altered in the cirrhotic and hepatitis-positive specimens, suggesting a preferential increase in the transcription of miRNA. Comparing the miRNA expression in the HCC tumors with patient's survival time revealed two groups of patients; those with predominantly lower miRNA expression and poor survival and those with predominantly higher miRNA expression and good survival (P < 0.05). A set of 19 miRNAs significantly correlated with disease outcome. A number of biological processes including cell division, mitosis, and G1-S transition were predicted to be targets of the 19 miRNAs in this group. Conclusion: We show that a global increase in the transcription of miRNA genes occurs in cirrhotic and hepatitis-positive livers and that miRNA expression may prognosticate disease outcome in HCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research