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Oral Dis. 2010 May;16(4):360-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-0825.2009.01646.x. Epub 2010 Mar 9.

Increase of microRNA miR-31 level in plasma could be a potential marker of oral cancer.

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Institute of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.



Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a worldwide disease. MicroRNAs are endogenously expressed non-coding RNAs that have important biological and pathological functions. miR-31 was found markedly up-regulated in OSCC and several other malignancies. However, miR-31 expression was also down-regulated in the metastasis process of breast carcinoma.


Using quantitative RT-PCR analysis, we identified plasma miR-31 in OSCC patients (n = 43) and case controlled individuals (n = 21). Nine OSCC patients saliva were also analyzed. The Mann-Whitney test and Wilcoxon matched pairs test were used to compare the differences among the various clinical variants.


miR-31 in plasma was significantly elevated in OSCC patients relative to age and sex-matched control individuals. This marker yielded a receiver operating characteristic curve area of 0.82 and an accuracy of 0.72 defined by leave-one-out cross-validation. In addition, the plasma miR-31 in patients was remarkably reduced after tumor resection suggesting that this marker is tumor associated. Our preliminary analysis also demonstrated the feasibility of detecting the increase of miR-31 in patient's saliva.


This study concluded that plasma miR-31 could be validated a marker of OSCC for diagnostic uses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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