Aberrant Methylation of 20 miRNA Genes Specifically Involved in Various Steps of Ovarian Carcinoma Spread: From Primary Tumors to Peritoneal Macroscopic Metastases.


Vitaly I Loginov, Irina V Pronina, Elena A Filippova, Alexey M Burdennyy, Svetlana S Lukina, Tatiana P Kazubskaya, Leonid A Uroshlev, Marina V Fridman, Olga I Brovkina, Natalya V Apanovich, Alexander V Karpukhin, Ivan S Stilidi, Nikolay E Kushlinskii, Alexey A Dmitriev, Eleonora A Braga

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Our work aimed to differentiate 20 aberrantly methylated miRNA genes that participate at different stages of development and metastasis of ovarian carcinoma (OvCa) using methylation-specific qPCR in a representative set of clinical samples: 102 primary tumors without and with metastases (to lymph nodes, peritoneum, or distant organs) and 30 peritoneal macroscopic metastases (PMM). Thirteen miRNA genes (MIR107, MIR124-2, MIR124-3, MIR125B-1, MIR127, MIR129-2, MIR130B, MIR132, MIR193A, MIR339, MIR34B/C, MIR9-1, and MIR9-3) were hypermethylated already at the early stages of OvCa, while hypermethylation of MIR1258, MIR137, MIR203A, and MIR375 was pronounced in metastatic tumors, and MIR148A showed high methylation levels specifically in PMM. We confirmed the significant relationship between methylation and expression levels for 11 out of 12 miRNAs analyzed by qRT-PCR. Moreover, expression levels of six miRNAs were significantly decreased in metastatic tumors in comparison with nonmetastatic ones, and downregulation of miR-203a-3p was the most significant. We revealed an inverse relationship between expression levels of miR-203a-3p and those of ZEB1 and ZEB2 genes, which are EMT drivers. We also identified three miRNA genes (MIR148A, MIR9-1, and MIR193A) that likely regulate EMT-MET reversion in the colonization of PMM. According to the Kaplan-Meier analysis, hypermethylation of several examined miRNA genes was associated with poorer overall survival of OvCa patients, and high methylation levels of MIR130B and MIR9-1 were related to the greatest relative risk of death.