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The miR-503 cluster is coordinately under-expressed in endometrial endometrioid adenocarcinoma and targets many oncogenes, cell cycle genes, DNA repair genes and chemotherapy response genes

Authors Devor EJ, Cha E, Warrier A, Miller MD, Gonzalez-Bosquet J, Leslie KK

Received 20 July 2018

Accepted for publication 30 August 2018

Published 18 October 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 7205—7211


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Federico Perche

Eric J Devor,1,2 Elizabeth Cha,1 Akshaya Warrier,1 Marina D Miller,1 Jesus Gonzalez-Bosquet,1,2 Kimberly K Leslie1,2

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52246, USA; 2Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA 52246, USA

Background: The miR-503 miRNA cluster, located at Xq23.1, is composed of six miRNAs; miR-424, miR-503, miR-542, miR-450a-1, miR-450a-2 and miR-450b. Numerous studies have focused on the relationship of one or two members of the cluster and various human cancers. Here, we suggest that the entire cluster as a single coordinately expressed polycistron transcribed from a single promoter in endometrial endometrioid adenocarcinoma (EEA).
Subjects and methods: A tissue panel composed of twenty histologically confirmed endometrial endometrioid adenocarcinomas (EEA) and four benign endometrium was assembled under informed consent. Expression of each member of the miR-503 cluster was determined by quantitative PCR and differences in expression between EEA and benign tissues were assessed via the standard ΔΔCt method. In addition, the role of promoter methylation status in miRNA expression was examined in Ishikawa H cells following exposure to the cytidine analog Decitabine.
Results: Expression of each member of the miR-503 cluster is significantly down-regulated in EEA in our tumor sample. Both in our tumor sample and in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) there is evidence of highly correlated expression further supporting the idea that the miR-503 cluster is a polycistron. Looking at each member of the miR-503 cluster we were able to identify 55 unique experimentally validated target genes which include a substantial number of genes involved in carcinogenesis, DNA damage response, cell cycle regulation and chemotherapeutic response. We also found preliminary evidence that regulation of the miR-503 cluster is governed by methylation of the promoter in EEA.
Conclusion: The totality of the data presented here strongly suggest that the miR-503 cluster as a whole merits further investigation as an important potential therapeutic target in EEA.

Keywords: microRNA-503 cluster, polycistron, endometrial cancer, methylation, decitabine, TCGA, correlated expression

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