The onset of chemo-resistant recurrence represents the principal cause of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) death. HGSOC masses are characterized by a hypoxic microenvironment, which contributes to the development of this chemo-resistant phenotype. Hypoxia regulated-miRNAs (HRMs) represent a molecular response of cancer cells to hypoxia and are involved in tumor progression. We investigated the expression of HRMs using miRNA expression data from a total of 273 advanced-stage HGSOC samples. The miRNAs associated with chemoresistance and survival were validated by RT-qPCR and target prediction, and comparative pathway analysis was conducted for target gene identification. Analysis of miRNA expression profiles indicated miR-23a-3p and miR-181c-5p over-expression as associated with chemoresistance and poor PFS. RT-qPCR data confirmed upregulation of miR-23a-3p in tumors from chemoresistant HGSOC patients and its significant association with shorter PFS. In silico miR-23a-3p target prediction and comparative pathway analysis identified platinum drug resistance as the pathway with the highest number of miR-23a-3p target genes. Among them, APAF-1 emerged as the most promising, being downregulated in platinum-resistant patients and in HGSOC chemo-resistant cells. These results highlight miR-23a-3p as a potential biomarker for HGSOC platinum response and prognosis and the miR23a-3p/APAF1 axis as a possible target to overcome platinum-resistance.

Comprehensive Profiling of Hypoxia-Related miRNAs Identifies miR-23a-3p Overexpression as a Marker of Platinum Resistance and Poor Prognosis in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer

D'Incalci, Maurizio;
2021

Abstract

The onset of chemo-resistant recurrence represents the principal cause of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) death. HGSOC masses are characterized by a hypoxic microenvironment, which contributes to the development of this chemo-resistant phenotype. Hypoxia regulated-miRNAs (HRMs) represent a molecular response of cancer cells to hypoxia and are involved in tumor progression. We investigated the expression of HRMs using miRNA expression data from a total of 273 advanced-stage HGSOC samples. The miRNAs associated with chemoresistance and survival were validated by RT-qPCR and target prediction, and comparative pathway analysis was conducted for target gene identification. Analysis of miRNA expression profiles indicated miR-23a-3p and miR-181c-5p over-expression as associated with chemoresistance and poor PFS. RT-qPCR data confirmed upregulation of miR-23a-3p in tumors from chemoresistant HGSOC patients and its significant association with shorter PFS. In silico miR-23a-3p target prediction and comparative pathway analysis identified platinum drug resistance as the pathway with the highest number of miR-23a-3p target genes. Among them, APAF-1 emerged as the most promising, being downregulated in platinum-resistant patients and in HGSOC chemo-resistant cells. These results highlight miR-23a-3p as a potential biomarker for HGSOC platinum response and prognosis and the miR23a-3p/APAF1 axis as a possible target to overcome platinum-resistance.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11699/67822
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