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MicroRNA and target gene expression based clustering of oral cancer, precancer and normal tissues

Roy, Roshni, Singh, Richa, Chattopadhyay, Esita, Ray, Anindita, Sarkar, Navonil De, Aich, Ritesh, Paul, Ranjan Rashmi, Pal, Mousumi, Roy, Bidyut
Gene 2016 v.593 no.1 pp. 58-63
autoimmune diseases, biomarkers, cluster analysis, diagnostic techniques, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, histopathology, microRNA, mouth neoplasms, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, tissues
Development of oral cancer is usually preceded by precancerous lesion. Despite histopathological diagnosis, development of disease specific biomarkers continues to be a promising field of study. Expression of miRNAs and their target genes was studied in oral cancer and two types of precancer lesions to look for disease specific gene expression patterns.Expression of miR-26a, miR-29a, miR-34b and miR-423 and their 11 target genes were determined in 20 oral leukoplakia, 20 lichen planus and 20 cancer tissues with respect to 20 normal tissues using qPCR assay. Expression data were, then, used for cluster analysis of normal as well as disease tissues.Expression of miR-26a and miR-29a was significantly down regulated in leukoplakia and cancer tissues but up regulated in lichen planus tissues. Expression of target genes such as, ADAMTS7, ATP1B1, COL4A2, CPEB3, CDK6, DNMT3a and PI3KR1 was significantly down regulated in at least two of three disease types with respect to normal tissues. Negative correlations between expression levels of miRNAs and their targets were observed in normal tissues but not in disease tissues implying altered miRNA-target interaction in disease state. Specific expression profile of miRNAs and target genes formed separate clusters of normal, lichen planus and cancer tissues.Our results suggest that alterations in expression of selected miRNAs and target genes may play important roles in development of precancer to cancer. Expression profiles of miRNA and target genes may be useful to differentiate cancer and lichen planus from normal tissues, thereby bolstering their role in diagnostics.