Journal of cellular and molecular medicine

miRNA profiling along tumour progression in ovarian carcinoma.

PMID 20716115


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that exert a regulatory effect post-transcriptionally by binding target mRNAs and inhibiting gene translation. miRNA expression is deregulated in cancer. The aim of this study was to characterize the differences in miRNA expression pattern and the miRNA-regulating machinery between ovarian carcinoma (OC) cells in primary tumours versus effusions. Using miRNA array platforms, we analysed a set of 21 tumours (13 effusions, 8 primary carcinomas) and identified three sets of miRNAs, one that is highly expressed in both primary carcinomas and effusions, one overexpressed in primary carcinomas and one overexpressed in effusions. Levels of selected miRNAs were analysed using quantitative PCR in an independent set of 45 additional tumours (30 effusions, 15 primary carcinomas). Reduced miR-145 and miR-214 and elevated let-7f, miR-182, miR-210, miR-200c, miR-222 and miR-23a levels were found in effusions in both sets. In silico target prediction programs identified potential target genes for some of the differentially expressed miRNAs. Expression of zinc finger E-box binding homeobox (ZEB)1 and c-Myc, targets of miR-200c, as well as of p21 protein (Cdc42/Rac)-activated kinase (PAK)1 and phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), predicted targets of miR-222, were analysed. Inverse correlations between expression levels of the indicated miRNAs and of the predicted target genes were found. In addition, higher expression of the miRNA-processing molecules Ago1, Ago2 and Dicer was observed in effusions compared to primary carcinomas. In conclusion, our data are the first to document different miRNA expression and regulation profiles in primary and metastatic OC, suggesting a role for these molecules in tumour progression.