Serum miR‐182 is a predictive biomarker for dichotomization of risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in rats
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Exploration of animal models leads to discoveries that can reveal candidate biomarkers for translation to human populations. Herein, a model of hepatocarcinogenesis and protection was used in which rats treated with aflatoxin (AFB1 ) daily for 28 days (200 µg/kg BW) developed tumors compared with rats completely protected from tumors by concurrent administration of the chemoprotective agent, 1-[2-cyano-3-,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl]imidazole (CDDO-Im). Differential expression of miRNAs in tumors (AFB1 ) and nontumor (AFB1 + CDDO-Im) bearing livers and their levels in sera over the life-course of the animals was determined. miRNA transcriptome analysis identified 17 miRNAs significantly upregulated at greater than five-fold in the tumors. The ten most dysregulated miRNAs judged by fold-change and biological significance were selected for further study, including liver-specific miR-122-5p. Validation of sequencing results by real-time PCR confirmed the upregulation of the majority of these miRNAs in tumors, including miR-182, as well as miR-224-5p as the most dysregulated of these miRNAs (over 400-fold). The longitudinal analysis of levels of miR-182 in sera demonstrated significant and persistent increases (5.13-fold; 95% CI: 4.59-5.70). The increase in miR-182 was detected months before any clinical symptoms were present in the animals. By the terminal time point of the study, in addition to elevated levels of serum miR-182, serum miR-122-5p was also found to be increased (>1.5-fold) in animals that developed hepatocarcinomas. Thus, using the data from an unbiased discovery approach of the tissue findings, serum miR-182 was found to track across the complex, multistage process of hepatocarcinogenesis opening an opportunity for translation to human populations.
author list (cited authors)
Livingstone, M. C., Johnson, N. M., Roebuck, B. D., Kensler, T. W., & Groopman, J. D.