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      MicroRNAs Expression in Triple Negative vs Non Triple Negative Breast Cancer in Tunisia: Interaction with Clinical Outcome

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          MicroRNAs are small, non coding regulatory molecules containing approximately 21 to 25 nucleotides. They function as controllers of expression at post transcriptional levels of most human protein-coding genes and play an essential role in cell signaling pathways. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the expression profile of the following micro-RNAs: miR-10b, miR-17, miR-21, miR-34a, miR-146a, miR-148a and miR-182, and to determine their possible interaction in triple-negative and non triple-negative primary breast cancers based on clinical outcome.


          60 triple-negative and non triple-negative breast cancer cases, along with their corresponding normal samples were investigated in relation to the expression of the seven studied miRNAs using qPCR Syber Green.


          We observed that miR-21, miR-146a and miR-182 were significantly over expressed in triple negative breast cancer. Moreover, miR-10b, miR-21 and miR-182 were significantly associated to lymph node metastases occurrence in triple negative breast carcinoma while only miR-10b was associated with grade III in non triple negative breast cancer cases. Almost all the analyzed microRNAs were strongly associated with patients’ genico-obstetric history in non triple negative breast cancer cases except for miR-34a. All the studied microRNAs were strongly correlated with the use of the contraceptive pills in non triple negative breast cancer groups. The additive effect of hormonal factors in triple negative breast cancer cases showed an association with all the studied miRs except for miR-34 and miR-146a.


          The studied microRNAs are strongly influenced by environmental factors especially with hormonal patients’ history. Moreover, miR-10b, miR-21 and miR-182 could be defined as biomarkers in breast cancer to predict both lymph node metastases and grade III occurrence.

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          Most cited references 32

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          A microRNA signature of hypoxia.

          Recent research has identified critical roles for microRNAs in a large number of cellular processes, including tumorigenic transformation. While significant progress has been made towards understanding the mechanisms of gene regulation by microRNAs, much less is known about factors affecting the expression of these noncoding transcripts. Here, we demonstrate for the first time a functional link between hypoxia, a well-documented tumor microenvironment factor, and microRNA expression. Microarray-based expression profiles revealed that a specific spectrum of microRNAs (including miR-23, -24, -26, -27, -103, -107, -181, -210, and -213) is induced in response to low oxygen, at least some via a hypoxia-inducible-factor-dependent mechanism. Select members of this group (miR-26, -107, and -210) decrease proapoptotic signaling in a hypoxic environment, suggesting an impact of these transcripts on tumor formation. Interestingly, the vast majority of hypoxia-induced microRNAs are also overexpressed in a variety of human tumors.
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            MicroRNA-10b is overexpressed in malignant glioma and associated with tumor invasive factors, uPAR and RhoC.

            MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are effective post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression and are important in many biological processes. Although the oncogenic and tumor suppressive functions of several miRNAs have been characterized, the role of miRNAs in mediating tumor invasion and migration remains largely unexplored. Recently, miR-10b was identified as an miRNA highly expressed in metastatic breast cancer, promoting cell migration and invasion. Here, we performed real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays on 43 glioma samples (17 glioblastoma, 6 anaplastic astrocytoma, 10 low-grade astrocytoma, 6 oligodendroglioma and 4 ependymoma) and 6 glioma cell lines. We found that miR-10b expression was upregulated in all glioma samples compared to non-neoplastic brain tissues. The expression levels of miR-10b were associated with higher grade glioma. In addition, mRNA expressions of RhoC and urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR), which were thought to be regulated by miR-10b via HOXD10, were statistically significantly correlated with the expression of miR-10b (p < 0.001, p = 0.001, respectively). Also, protein expression levels of RhoC and uPAR were associated with expression levels of miR-10b (p = 0.009, p = 0.014, respectively). Finally, multifocal lesions on enhanced MRI of 7 malignant gliomas were associated with higher expression levels of miR-10b (p = 0.02). Our data indicated that miR-10b might play some role in the invasion of glioma cells. 2009 UICC
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              Down-regulation of BRCA1 expression by miR-146a and miR-146b-5p in triple negative sporadic breast cancers

              Germ-line mutations in the BRCA1 gene strongly predispose women to breast cancer (lifetime risk up to 80%). Furthermore, the BRCA1 protein is absent or present at very low levels in about one third of sporadic breast cancers. However, the mechanisms underlying BRCA1 somatic inactivation appear multiple and are still not fully understood. We report here the involvement of miR-146a and miR-146b-5p that bind to the same site in the 3′UTR of BRCA1 and down-regulate its expression as demonstrated using reporter assays. This was further confirmed with the endogenous BRCA1 gene by transfecting microRNA (miRNA) precursors or inhibitors in mammary cell lines. This down-regulation was accompanied by an increased proliferation and a reduced homologous recombination rate, two processes controlled by BRCA1. Furthermore, we showed that the highest levels of miR-146a and/or miR-146b-5p are found in basal-like mammary tumour epithelial cell lines and in triple negative breast tumours, which are the closest to tumours arising in carriers of BRCA1 mutations. This work provides further evidence for the involvement of miRNAs in sporadic breast cancer through down-regulation of BRCA1.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                4 November 2014
                : 9
                : 11
                [1 ]Laboratory of Genetics, Immunology and Human Pathology, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia
                [2 ]Salah Azaiez Institute of Carcinology, Tunis, Tunisia
                [3 ]Laboratory of Genetics and Molecular Diagnostic, Centre Jean Perrin, Clermont-Ferrand, France
                [4 ]Laboratory of Molecular Screening in the Treatment of Breast Cancer, Immunology and Cancer Research Institute, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
                Rutgers - New Jersey Medical School, United States of America
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: IM ABE NU. Performed the experiments: IM MP. Analyzed the data: IM IO HA F. Belaiba. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: SM IJB ABE. Contributed to the writing of the manuscript: IM NU ABE. Provided the biological material and clinical data: KB F. Benayad.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 11
                The authors have no support or funding to report.
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Cancer Genetics
                Gene Expression
                Human Genetics
                Medicine and Health Sciences
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                The authors confirm that all data underlying the findings are fully available without restriction. All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.



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