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MicroRNAs expression in normal and malignant colon tissues as biomarkers of colorectal cancer and in response to pomegranate extracts consumption: Critical issues to discern between modulatory effects and potential artefacts

Nuñez‐Sánchez, María A., Dávalos, Alberto, González‐Sarrías, Antonio, Casas‐Agustench, Patricia, Visioli, Francesco, Monedero‐Saiz, Tamara, García‐Talavera, Noelia V., Gómez‐Sánchez, María B., Sánchez‐Álvarez, Carmen, García‐Albert, Ana M., Rodríguez‐Gil, Francisco J., Ruiz‐Marín, Miguel, Pastor‐Quirante, Francisco A., Martínez‐Díaz, Francisco, Tomás‐Barberán, Francisco A., García‐Conesa, María Teresa, Espín, Juan Carlos
Molecular nutrition & food research 2015 v.59 no.10 pp. 1973-1986
anticarcinogenic activity, biomarkers, biopsy, colon, colorectal neoplasms, diet, ellagic acid, metabolites, microRNA, microorganisms, models, patients, pomegranates, tissues
SCOPE: MicroRNAs (miRs) are proposed as colorectal cancer (CRC) biomarkers. Pomegranate ellagic acid and their microbiota metabolites urolithins exert anticancer effects in preclinical CRC models, and target normal and malignant colon tissues in CRC patients. Herein, we investigated whether the intake of pomegranate extract (PE) modified miRs expression in surgical colon tissues versus biopsies from CRC patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: We conducted a randomized, double‐blind, controlled trial. Thirty‐five CRC patients consumed 900 mg PE daily before surgery. Control CRC patients (no PE intake, n = 10) were included. Our results revealed: (1) significant differences for specific miRs between malignant and normal tissues modifiable by the surgical protocols; (2) opposed trends between ‐5p and ‐3p isomolecules; (3) general induction of miRs attributable to the surgery; (4) moderate modulation of various miRs following the PE intake, and (5) no association between tissue urolithins and the observed miRs changes. CONCLUSION: PE consumption appears to affect specific colon tissue miRs but surgery critically alters miRs levels hindering the discrimination of significant changes caused by dietary factors and the establishment of genuine differences between malignant and normal tissues as biomarkers. The components responsible for the PE effects and the clinical relevance of these observations deserve further research.