Clinical biochemistry

miR-34a overexpression predicts poor prognostic outcome in colorectal adenocarcinoma, independently of clinicopathological factors with established prognostic value.

PMID 28624481


MicroRNA-34a (miR-34a) is regulated by TP53 and, in response, downregulates the expression of a gamut of protein-coding genes, including apoptosis regulators, transcription factors, cyclins, and cyclin-dependent kinases. Its upregulation initiates a reprogramming of gene expression and promotes apoptosis. The purpose of this study was the investigation of the potential clinical significance of miR-34a as a molecular prognostic biomarker in colorectal adenocarcinoma using an in-house real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) methodology. Total RNA was extracted from 113 primary colorectal adenocarcinoma specimens and 61 paired non-cancerous colorectal tissue samples. After polyadenylation and reverse transcription, miR-34a molecules were determined using qPCR based on SYBR Green chemistry. Calculations were performed using the comparative C miR-34a expression does not significantly differ between colorectal adenocarcinoma tissue specimens and adjacent non-cancerous mucosae. However, miR-34a expression increases progressively as colorectal adenocarcinoma loses its differentiation, being highest in grade III tumors (P=0.010). Moreover, miR-34a expression is a potential unfavorable prognostic biomarker in colorectal adenocarcinoma, predicting poor disease-free and overall survival (P=0.002 and P=0.019, respectively), independently of classical clinicopathological parameters. Most importantly, miR-34a expression stratifies patients without local (N0) and/or distant metastasis (M0) at the time of diagnosis into two groups with substantially different prognosis (P=0.013 and P=0.002, respectively). High miR-34a levels in colorectal adenocarcinoma predict a rather increased risk for disease recurrence and poor overall survival, particularly in patients at an early TNM stage. The unfavorable prognostic potential of miR-34a expression is independent of established prognostic features of colorectal adenocarcinoma.

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