Upregulation of microRNA-196a and microRNA-196b cooperatively correlate with aggressive progression and unfavorable prognosis in patients with colorectal cancer

Jie Ge, Zihua Chen, Ruixing Li, Tailiang Lu, Guangfa Xiao
Cancer Cell International 2014, 14 (1): 128

BACKGROUND: Both microRNA (miR)-196a and miR-196b are implicated in normal cell differentiation, proliferation, and in tumorigenesis of various cancer types. Especially, miR-196a exerts a pro-oncogenic influence in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells and miR-196b expression is upregulated in CRC tissues. The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations of miR-196a and miR-196b dysregulation with clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis in patients with CRC.

METHODS: Quantitative real time-PCR (qRT-PCR) was performed to detect the expression levels of miR-196a and miR-196b in 126 pairs of fresh tumor samples matched with adjacent colorectal mucosa obtained from 126 patients with CRC.

RESULTS: miR-196a and miR-196b expression levels in CRC tissues were significantly higher than those in adjacent colorectal mucosa (both P < 0.002). Interestingly, the expression levels of miR-196a in CRC tissues were positively correlated with those of miR-196b. Then, high miR-196a expression and high miR-196b expression, alone or in combination, were all statistically linked to the presence of lymph node metastasis, the poor differentiation grade, and the advanced TNM stage of CRC. Moreover, overall and disease-free survivals of CRC patients with high miR-196a expression, high miR-196b expression and miR-196a-high/miR-196b-high expression tended to be shorter than the corresponding control groups (log-rank statistic, all P < 0.001). Furthermore, multivariate analysis indicated miR-196a and/or miR-196b expression as independent prognostic indicators for CRC patients (all P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Both miR-196a and miR-196b may be correlated with aggressive progression and unfavorable clinical outcome in CRC patients. Combined expression of miR-196a and miR-196b may be a promising biomarker in identifying a poor prognosis group of CRC.

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