MiR-9 was initially identified as an epigenetically regulated miRNA in tumours, but inconsistent findings have been reported so far. We analysed the expression of miR-9-5p, miR-9-3p, pri-miRs and MIR9 promoters methylation status in 131 breast cancer cases and 12 normal breast tissues (NBTs). The expression of both mature miRs was increased in tumours as compared to NBTs (P < 0.001) and negatively correlated with ER protein expression (P = 0.005 and P = 0.003, for miR-9-3p and miR-9-5p respectively). In addition, miR-9-5p showed a significant negative correlation with PgR (P = 0.002). Consistently, miR-9-5p and miR-9 3p were differentially expressed in the breast cancer subgroups identified by ER and PgR expression and HER2 amplification. No significant correlation between promoter methylation and pri-miRNAs expressions was found either in tumours or in NBTs. In the Luminal breast cancer subtype the expression of miR-9-5p was associated with a worse prognosis in both univariable and multivariable analyses. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis exploring the putative interactions among miR-9-5p/miR-9-3p, ER and PgR upstream and downstream regulators suggested a regulatory loop by which miR-9-5p but not miR-9-3p is induced by steroid hormone receptor and acts within hormone-receptor regulated pathways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas