Integrated microRNA–mRNA profiling identifies oncostatinm as a marker of mesenchymal-like ER-negative/HER2-negative breast cancer

Giulia Bottai, Lixia Diao, Keith A. Baggerly, Laura Paladini, Balázs Győrffy, Carlotta Raschioni, Lajos Pusztai, George A. Calin, Libero Santarpia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) simultaneously modulate different oncogenic networks, establishing a dynamic system of gene expression and pathway regulation. In this study, we analyzed global miRNA and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression profiles of 17 cell lines representing different molecular breast cancer subtypes. Spearman’s rank correlation test was used to evaluate the correlation between miRNA and mRNA expression. Hierarchical clustering and pathway analysis were also performed. Publicly available gene expression profiles (n = 699) and tumor tissues (n = 80) were analyzed to assess the relevance of key miRNA-regulated pathways in human breast cancer. We identified 39 significantly deregulated miRNAs, and the integration between miRNA and mRNA data revealed the importance of immune-related pathways, particularly the Oncostatin M (OSM) signaling, associated with mesenchymal-like breast cancer cells. OSM levels correlated with genes involved in the inflammatory response, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling in human estrogen receptor (ER)-negative/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer. Our results suggest that the deregulation of specific miRNAs may cooperatively impair immune and EMT pathways. The identification of the OSM inflammatory pathway as an important mediator of EMT in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) may provide a novel potential opportunity to improve therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number194
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 19 2017


  • Breast cancer
  • Immune response
  • MicroRNAs
  • Molecular subtypes
  • Oncostatin M

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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