Identification of metastasis-associated microRNAs in serum from rectal cancer patients
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionOncoTarget. 2017, 8 (52), 90077-90089. 10.18632/oncotarget.21412
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are promising prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers due to their high stability in blood. Here we investigate the expression of miRNAs and other noncoding (nc) RNAs in serum of rectal cancer patients. Serum from 96 rectal cancer patients was profiled using small RNA sequencing and expression of small RNAs was correlated with the clinicopathological characteristics of the patients. Multiple classes of RNAs were detected, including miRNAs and fragments of tRNAs, snoRNAs, long ncRNAs, and other classes of RNAs. Several miRNAs, miRNA variants (isomiRs) and other ncRNAs were differentially expressed between Stage IV and Stage I-III rectal cancer patients, including several members of the miR-320 family. Furthermore, we show that high expression of miR-320d as well as one tRNA fragment is associated with poor survival. We also show that several miRNAs and isomiRs are differentially expressed between patients receiving preoperative chemoradiotherapy and patients who did not receive any treatment before serum collection. In summary, our study shows that the expression of miRNAs and other small ncRNAs in serum may be used to predict distant metastasis and survival in rectal cancer.