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Br J Cancer. 2013 Jan 15;108(1):131-8. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2012.537.

Hsa-mir-124-3 CpG island methylation is associated with advanced tumours and disease recurrence of patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

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Department of Urology, Hannover Medical School, OE6247, Carl-Neuberg-Str.1, 30625 Hannover, Germany.



Whether methylation of the microRNA (mir)-124-3 CpG island is of relevance for the clinical course of a solid cancer and whether it shows association with clinicopathology or survival of patients with renal cell cancer (RCC) is not known as yet.


In a cross-sectional study, relative methylation of mir-124-3 was measured in 111 RCC samples and 77 paired normal appearing tissues using quantitative methyl-specific PCR. Results were statistically compared with tumour histology, clinicopathological parameters and disease recurrence.


We found tumour-specific hypermethylation of mir-124-3 in samples of RCCs with clear cell histology (ccRCC) compared with paired normal appearing tissues (P<0.0001). Methylation was significantly increased in tumours with state of advanced disease (P<0.0001). Higher relative methylation was associated with worse recurrence-free survival in both univariate (hazard ratio=9.37; P=0.0005) as well as bivariate Cox regression analyses considering age, sex, diameter of tumours and state of advanced disease, metastasis and lymph node metastases as covariates (hazard ratios=5.9-18.2; P-values of 0.0003-0.008).


We identified mir-124-3 CpG islands (CGI) methylation as a relevant epigenetic mark for ccRCC thus underlining the need for functional studies of potentially affected signalling pathways in kidney tumour models. Methylation of mir-124-3 is suggested as an independent prognosticator for ccRCC.

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