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Oncol Rep. 2011 Oct;26(4):995-1002. doi: 10.3892/or.2011.1372. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

microRNA expression profiling of endometrial endometrioid adenocarcinomas and serous adenocarcinomas reveals profiles containing shared, unique and differentiating groups of microRNAs.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, 3234 MERF, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


microRNAs (miRNAs) control a multitude of pathways in human cancers. Differential expression of miRNAs among different histological types of tumors within the same type of tissue offers insight into the mechanism of pathogenesis and may help to direct treatment to improve prognosis. We assessed expression of 667 miRNAs in endometrial endometrioid and serous adenocarcinomas using RNA extracted from benign endometrium as well as from primary endometrial tumors. Quantitative miRNA profiling of endometrial adenocarcinomas revealed four overlapping groups of significantly overexpressed and underexpressed miRNAs. The first group was composed of 20 miRNAs significantly dysregulated in both adenocarcinoma types compared with benign endometrium, two groups were composed of miRNAs significantly dysregulated in either endometrioid adenocarcinomas or in serous adenocarcinomas compared with benign endometrium, and the fourth group was composed of 17 miRNAs that significantly distinguished between endometrioid adenocarcinomas and serous adenocarcinomas themselves. Validation of the expression levels of the selected miRNAs was carried out in a second panel composed of ten endometrioid and five serous tumors. Experimentally validated mRNA targets of these dysregulated miRNAs were identified using published sources, whereas TargetScan was used to predict targets of miRNAs in the first and fourth profile groups. These validated and potential miRNA target lists were filtered using published lists of genes displaying significant overexpression or underexpression in endometrial cancers compared to benign endometrium. Our results revealed a number of dysregulated miRNAs that are commonly found in endometrial (and other) cancers as well as several dysregulated miRNAs not previously identified in endometrial cancers. Understanding these differences may permit the development of both prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers.

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