Aim and background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of naturally occurring small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression, cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis by targeting mRNAs for translational repression or cleavage. The present study was conducted to study miRNAs in Egyptian breast cancer (BC) and their relation to metastasis, tumor invasion and apoptosis in addition to their association with the ER and PR statuses.
Methods: Real Time RT-PCR was performed to identify the miRNA expression level of eight miRNAs and eight metastatic-related genes in 40 breast cancer samples and their adjacent non-neoplastic tissues. The expression levels of each miRNA relative to U6 RNA were determined using the 2–ΔCT method. Also, miRNA expression profiles of the BC and their corresponding ANT were evaluated.
Results: The BC patients showed an up-regulation in miRNAs (mir-155, mir-10, mir-21 and mir-373) with an upregulation in MMP2, MMp9 and VEGF genes. We found down regulation in mir-17p, mir-126, mir-335, mir-30b and also TIMP3, TMP1 and PDCD4 genes in the cancer tissue compared to the adjacent non-neoplastic tissues. Mir -10b, mir -21, mir-155 and mir373 and the metastatic genes MMP2, MMP9 and VEGF were significantly associated with an increase in tumor size (P < 0.05). No significant difference was observed between any of the studied miRNAs regarding lymph node metastasis. Mir-21 was significantly over-expressed in ER-/PR- cases.
Conclusion: Specific miRNAs (mir-10, mir-21, mir-155, mir-373, mir-30b, mir-126, mir-17p, mir-335) are associated with tumor metastasis and other clinical characteristics for BC, facilitating identification of individuals who are at risk.