J Cancer 2021; 12(17):5106-5113. doi:10.7150/jca.51141 This issue

Research Paper

6 Circulating miRNAs can be used as Non-invasive Biomarkers for the Detection of Cervical Lesions

Ruoqi Ning1#, Silu Meng1#, Lin Wang1,2#, Yao Jia1, Fangxu Tang1, Haiying Sun1, Zhi Zhang3,4, Chong Zhang3,4, Xinran Fan1, Bing Xiao1, Chunhua Yang3,4✉, Shuang Li1✉

1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, 430030, P.R. China.
2. Department of Pediatrics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, 430030, P.R. China.
3. National Engineering Research Center for Beijing Biochip Technology, Changping District, Beijing, 102206, P.R. China.
4. CapitalBio Corporation, Changping District, Beijing, 102206, P.R. China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.
Citation:
Ning R, Meng S, Wang L, Jia Y, Tang F, Sun H, Zhang Z, Zhang C, Fan X, Xiao B, Yang C, Li S. 6 Circulating miRNAs can be used as Non-invasive Biomarkers for the Detection of Cervical Lesions. J Cancer 2021; 12(17):5106-5113. doi:10.7150/jca.51141. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p5106.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Background: Cervical cancer is the most common malignant tumor in the female reproductive system, while the efficacy of routine screening strategy is unsatisfied. New molecular tests need to be developed. miRNAs participate in many pathologic processes, and circulating miRNAs are promising non-invasive biomarkers in tumors.

Objectives: This study aimed to identify the circulating miRNAs associated with both cervical cancer and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and establish a non-invasive classifier for cervical lesions using circulating miRNAs.

Methods: This study consisted of 5 steps: miRNAs screening, miRNAs validation, classifier establishment, independent validation and in silico analyses. Three cohorts were included in our study: In screening stage, 24 samples including 14 cases and 10 controls were retrieved; In validation stage, 380 samples including 200 cases and 180 controls were recruited; In independent validation stage, 47 samples comprising 26 cases and 21 controls were included. miRNAs were quantified by RT-qPCR. A classifier was built with random forest algorithm using validation samples and selected miRNAs, which were then validated in an independent cohort. To explore the function of selected miRNAs, in silico analyses were performed. Target genes of selected miRNAs were predicted by the overlap of three online tools. Enrichment analyses were executed with predicted target genes. Differential analysis of target genes was carried out with open access expression assay datasets of cervical tissues.

Results: 6 miRNAs (hsa-miR-26b-5p, hsa-miR-146b-5p, hsa-miR-191-5p, hsa-miR-484, hsa-miR-574-3p, hsa-miR-625-3p) were screened out from 754 miRNAs. They were associated with cervical lesions and were selected to establish a classifier. The accuracy of the classifier were 0.7218 (0.7117, 0.7319) in validation samples, which was 0.7021 in the independent cohort. 958 target genes were predicted and enriched in 23 pathways (MAPK, human papillomavirus infection and Wnt signaling pathway, etc.). 55 genes were identified as the most likely target genes by differential analysis.

Conclusion: The 6 circulating miRNAs were related to cervical lesions and could serve as non-invasive biomarkers.

Keywords: Circulating miRNA, Biomarker, Non-invasive, Cervical cancer, Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia