MicroRNA expression profiling in male and female familial breast cancer

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Background:Gender-associated epigenetic alterations are poorly investigated in male and female familial breast cancer (fBC). MicroRNAs may contribute to the different biology in men and women particularly related to RASSF1A pathways.Methods:Microarray technology was used to evaluate miRNA profile in 24 male and 43 female fBC. Key results were validated using RT-qPCR in an external samples set. In vitro studies were carried out to verify microRNA-target gene interaction.Results:Pathway enrichment analysis with the 287 differentially expressed microRNAs revealed several signalling pathways differently regulated in male and female cases. Because we previously hypothesised a peculiar involvement of RASSF1A in male fBC pathogenesis, we focussed on the MAPK and the Hippo signalling pathways that are regulated by RASSF1A. Male miR-152 and miR-497 upregulation and RASSF1A and NORE1A interacting gene downregulation were observed, confirming a possible indirect interaction between miRNAs and the two genes.Conclusions:For the first time, a different microRNA expression pattern in male and female fBC has been shown. Moreover, the importance of RASSF1A pathway in male fBC carcinogenesis has been confirmed, highlighting a possible role for miR-152 and miR-497 in controlling MAPK and Hippo signalling pathways, regulated by RASSF1A.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2361-2368
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 9 2014


  • familial breast cancer
  • miR-152
  • miR-497
  • miRNA
  • NORE1A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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