A miRNA signature associated with human metastatic medullary thyroid carcinoma

Libero Santarpia, George A. Calin, Liana Adam, Lei Ye, Alfredo Fusco, Serena Giunti, Christina Thaller, Laura Paladini, Xinna Zhang, Camilo Jimenez, Francesco Trimarchi, Adel K. El-Naggar, Robert F. Gagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a class of small, non-coding RNAs that control gene expression by targeting mRNA and triggering either translational repression or RNA degradation. The objective of our study was to evaluate the involvement of miRNAs in human medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and to identify the markers of metastatic cells and aggressive tumour behaviour. Using matched primary and metastatic tumour samples, we identified a subset of miRNAs aberrantly regulated in metastatic MTC. Deregulated miRNAs were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR and validated by in situ hybridisation on a large independent set of primary and metastatic MTC samples. Our results uncovered ten miRNAs that were significantly expressed and deregulated in metastatic tumours: miR-10a, miR-200b/-200c, miR-7 and miR-29c were down-regulated and miR-130a, miR-138, miR-193a-3p, miR-373 and miR-498 were up-regulated. Bioinformatic approaches revealed potential miRNA targets and signals involved in metastatic MTC pathways. Migration, proliferation and invasion assays were performed in cell lines treated with miR-200 antagomirs to ascertain a direct role for this miRNA in MTC tumourigenesis. We show that the members of miR-200 family regulate the expression of E-cadherin by directly targeting ZEB1 and ZEB2 mRNA and through the enhanced expression of tumour growth factor b (TGFb)-2 and TGFb-1. Overall, the treated cells shifted to a mesenchymal phenotype, thereby acquiring an aggressive phenotype with increased motility and invasion. Our data identify a robust miRNA signature associated with metastatic MTC and distinct biological processes, e.g., TGFb signalling pathway, providing new potential insights into the mechanisms of MTC metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-823
Number of pages15
JournalEndocrine-Related Cancer
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Cadherins
  • Cellular functions
  • Medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • Metastasis
  • Mir-200
  • Mirna
  • Signal transduction pathways
  • Signature
  • Tumour growth factor-b
  • Zebs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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  • Cite this

    Santarpia, L., Calin, G. A., Adam, L., Ye, L., Fusco, A., Giunti, S., Thaller, C., Paladini, L., Zhang, X., Jimenez, C., Trimarchi, F., El-Naggar, A. K., & Gagel, R. F. (2013). A miRNA signature associated with human metastatic medullary thyroid carcinoma. Endocrine-Related Cancer, 20(6), 809-823. https://doi.org/10.1530/ERC-13-0357