DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0510565103 ISSN:

A microRNA expression signature of human solid tumors defines cancer gene targets

Stefano Volinia, George A. Calin, Chang-Gong Liu, Stefan Ambs, Amelia Cimmino, Fabio Petrocca, Rosa Visone, Marilena Iorio, Claudia Roldo, Manuela Ferracin, Robyn L. Prueitt, Nozumu Yanaihara, Giovanni Lanza, Aldo Scarpa, Andrea Vecchione, Massimo Negrini, Curtis C. Harris, Carlo M. Croce
  • Multidisciplinary

Small noncoding microRNAs (miRNAs) can contribute to cancer development and progression and are differentially expressed in normal tissues and cancers. From a large-scale miRnome analysis on 540 samples including lung, breast, stomach, prostate, colon, and pancreatic tumors, we identified a solid cancer miRNA signature composed by a large portion of overexpressed miRNAs. Among these miRNAs are some with well characterized cancer association, such as miR-17-5p , miR-20a , miR-21 , miR-92 , miR-106a , and miR-155 . The predicted targets for the differentially expressed miRNAs are significantly enriched for protein-coding tumor suppressors and oncogenes ( P < 0.0001). A number of the predicted targets, including the tumor suppressors RB1 (Retinoblastoma 1) and TGFBR2 (transforming growth factor, beta receptor II) genes were confirmed experimentally. Our results indicate that miRNAs are extensively involved in cancer pathogenesis of solid tumors and support their function as either dominant or recessive cancer genes.

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