Identification of Specific miRNA Signature in Paired Sera and Tissue Samples of Indian Women with Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Citation: Thakur S, Grover RK, Gupta S, Yadav AK, Das BC (2016) Identification of Specific miRNA Signature in Paired Sera and Tissue Samples of Indian Women with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. PLoS ONE 11(7): e0158946. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158946
Published: July 12, 2016

Mammo_breast_cancerOf several subtypes of breast cancer, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a highly aggressive tumor that lacks expression of hormone receptors for estrogen, progesterone and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 and shows a worst prognosis. The small noncoding RNAs (miRNAs) considered as master regulator of gene expression play a key role in cancer initiation, progression and drug resistance and have emerged as attractive molecular biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment targets in cancer. We have done expression profiling of selected miRNAs in paired serum and tissue samples of TNBC patients and corresponding cell lines and compared with that of other subtypes, in order to identify novel serum miRNA biomarkers for early detection and progression of TNBC. A total of 85 paired tumor tissues and sera with an equal number of adjacent normal tissue margins and normal sera from age matched healthy women including tissue and sera samples from 15 benign fibroadenomas were employed for the study. We report for the first time an extremely high prevalence (73.9%) of TNBC in premenopausal women below 35 years of age and a significant altered expression of a panel of three specific oncogenic miRNAs- miR-21, miR-221, miR-210, and three tumor suppressor miRNAs- miR-195, miR-145 and Let-7a in both tissues and corresponding sera of TNBC patients when compared with triple positive breast cancer (TPBC) patients. While miR-21, miR-221 and miR-210 showed significant over-expression, miR-195 and miR-145 were downregulated and well correlated with various clinicopathological and demographic risk factors, tumor grade, clinical stage and hormone receptor status. Interestingly, despite being a known tumor suppressor, Let-7a showed a significant overexpression in TNBCs. It is suggested that this panel of six miRNA signature may serve as a minimally invasive biomarker for an early detection of TNBC patients.


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