J Cancer 2019; 10(22):5355-5370. doi:10.7150/jca.29293

Research Paper

Clinical Significance of microRNA-196b-5p in Hepatocellular Carcinoma and its Potential Molecular Mechanism

Lu Zhang1*, Bin Luo2*, Yi-wu Dang1, Rong-quan He2, Zhi-gang Peng2, Gang Chen1✉, Zhen-bo Feng1✉

1. Department of Pathology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, No. 6 Shuangyong Road, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 530021, P. R. China
2. Department of Medical Oncology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, No. 6 Shuangyong Road, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 530021, P. R. China
* Lu Zhang and Bin Luo contributed equally to this work as co-first authors.

Abstract

Objective: To enquire into the clinical significance and potential molecular mechanism of microRNA (miRNA)-196b-5p in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Methods: Quantitative reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) were utilized to examine miR-196b-5p expression level in 67 HCC paraffin embedded tissues and corresponding adjacent tissues. Correlations of miR-196b-5p expression level with clinicopathological characteristics were analyzed in our study. The expression level and clinical significance of miR-196b-5p in HCC were also evaluated in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. We made predictions of the target genes of miR-196b-5p by twelve online software and then selected genes predicted by at least 5 software. Subsequently, in order to obtain the potential target genes of miR-196b-5p, we overlapped the predicted target genes and down-regulated mRNAs in HCC based on TCGA database. Then, we performed the Gene Ontology (GO) and the Disease Ontology (DO) functional annotation, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis and Protein-Protein Interaction (PPI) network construction of those miR-196b-5p potential target genes.

Results: Higher expression level of miR-196b-5p was seen in HCC tissues than in the corresponding adjacent tissues based on qRT-PCR (P = 0.0007). The expression level of miR-196b-5p was linked with tumor size (P = 0.03), tumor node (P = 0.024), vascular invasion (P = 0.029) and capsular invasion (P = 0.026) in HCC patients. Comprehensive meta-analysis of miR-196b-5p expression based on TCGA, GEO and qRT-PCR verified that higher expression level of miR-196b-5p was observed in HCC tissues than in normal control liver tissues (SMD = 0.56, 95%CI: 0.39-0.72, P heterogeneity = 0.275, I2 = 18.3%). GO annotation revealed that the top terms in biological process, cellular component and molecular function were single-organism catabolic process, neuronal cell body and transmembrane receptor protein kinase activity, respectively. The most relevant disease in DO annotation was arteriosclerosis. The tryptophan metabolism pathway ranked first in KEGG pathway enrichment analysis. The PPI network showed that IGF1, FOXO1, AR and FOS were mostly likely to become the core genes of miR-196b-5p potential target genes, which however required further experiments for validation.

Conclusion: The miR-196b-5p was observed to show higher expression in HCC tissues than in normal control liver tissues. Moreover, the miR-196b-5p expression level had correlations with the clinicopathological parameters such as vascular invasion of HCC, but the molecular mechanisms of miR-196b-5p in HCC still need further elucidation and verification.

Keywords: microRNA-196b-5p, hepatocellular carcinoma, quantitative reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction, bioinformatics

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How to cite this article:
Zhang L, Luo B, Dang Yw, He Rq, Peng Zg, Chen G, Feng Zb. Clinical Significance of microRNA-196b-5p in Hepatocellular Carcinoma and its Potential Molecular Mechanism. J Cancer 2019; 10(22):5355-5370. doi:10.7150/jca.29293. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v10p5355.htm