Serum MicroRNA-21 Negatively Relates to Expression of Programmed Cell Death-4 in Patients with Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

Document Type : Research Articles


Clinical and Chemical Pathology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Egypt.


Background: Ovarian cancer is the third most common cancer of the female genital tract and the leading cause of cancer death associated with gynecologic tumors. MicroRNAs regulate at least 60% of human genes, including tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes and, thereby, can affect cancer risk. Aim of the work: We aimed to assess any diagnostic role for serum miR-21 as a biomarker in human ovarian cancer and to study relations with programmed cell death-4 (PDCD4), one of its target proteins, hoping to help explain heterogeneity of this cancer type and facilitate stratification of regimens for therapy. Subjects and Methods: A total of 60 newly diagnosed ovarian cancer cases and 30 apparently healthy females were recruited. Serum microRNA-21 levels were measured by TaqMan- Real time PCR assay and PDCD4 by ELISA. Results: Significant over-expression of serum miR-21 and lower serum PDCD4 levels were observed in ovarian cancer patients as compared to the control group. A statistically significant inverse correlation was also evident between miR-21 and PDCD4. However, no significant links were noted observed between miR-21 and tumor grade, stage or histopathological type. Conclusion: The present work showed significantly up-regulation of serum miR21 in the recruited group of patients and a significant inverse relation association between miR-21and PDCD4. These findings suggest that miR-21 may be used as a diagnostic biomarker for human ovarian cancer.


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