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Investigation of miR-490-3p Expression in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Based on Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR) and a Meta-Analysis of 749 Cases

Ming-fen Li, Jing-jing Zeng, Ai-ping Pan, Ying-hui Lin, Hong-sheng Lin, Rong-zhen Zhang, Lei Yang, Yu Zhang, Yi-wu Dang, Gang Chen

(Clinical Laboratory, First Affiliated Hospital of the University of Chinese Medicine in Guangxi, Nanning, Guangxi, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:4914-4925

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.908492

Published: 2018-07-15

BACKGROUND: miR-490-3p could play vital roles in multiple cancers. However, the role of miR-490-3p in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains uncertain. In this study, we sought to explore the underlying role of miR-490-3p in HCC.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this study, we explored the clinical role of miR-490-3p in HCC via quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Then, a meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the expression trend and diagnostic value of miR-490-3p in HCC. Furthermore, 12 miRNA prediction algorithms were applied to predict the potential target genes of miR-490-3p. The differentially expressed genes in HCC in the Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA) database were also selected. Additionally, bioinformatics analyses were utilized to investigate the possible functions and pathways of the target genes.
RESULTS: miR-490-3p was clearly down-regulated in HCC based on RT-qPCR (P=0.002). Consistent with the results of RT-qPCR, miR-490 was more highly expressed in normal liver tissue than in HCC (P<0.001). Additionally, the meta-analysis confirmed the results from RT-qPCR and TCGA. Furthermore, based on the prediction algorithms and GEPIA, a total of 113 genes were selected. According to the bioinformatics analyses, we found that the most remarkably enriched functional terms included protein transport, poly(A) RNA binding, and intracellular organelle part. Additionally, the miR-490-3p target genes were significantly related to the pathways in cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: We found that miR-490-3p is down-regulated in HCC and is related to genes that have potential tumoral functions. However, the exact mechanism should be confirmed by functional experiments.

Keywords: Carcinoma, Hepatocellular, meta-analysis, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction