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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Identification of RNA Expression Profiles in Thyroid Cancer to Construct a Competing Endogenous RNA (ceRNA) Network of mRNAs, Long Noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), and microRNAs (miRNAs)

Yuanxin Xu, Jiuwei Chen, Zhihui Yang, Lihua Xu

Department of Endocrinology, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:1140-1154

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.912450

Available online: 2019-02-12

Published: 2019-02-12


BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were to use RNA expression profile bioinformatics data from cases of thyroid cancer from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), and the Gene Ontology (GO) databases to construct a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) network of mRNAs, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), and microRNAs (miRNAs).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: TCGA provided RNA profiles from 515 thyroid cancer tissues and 56 normal thyroid tissues. The DESeq R package analyzed high-throughput sequencing data on differentially expressed RNAs. GO and KEGG pathway analysis used the DAVID 6.8 and the ClusterProfile R package. Kaplan-Meier survival statistics and Cox regression analysis were performed. The thyroid cancer ceRNA network was constructed based on the miRDB, miRTarBase, and TargetScan databases.
RESULTS: There were 1,098 mRNAs associated with thyroid cancer; 101 mRNAs were associated with overall survival (OS). Multivariate analysis developed a risk scoring system that identified seven signature mRNAs, with a discriminative value of 0.88, determined by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. A ceRNA network included 13 mRNAs, 31 lncRNAs, and seven miRNAs. Four out of the 31 lncRNAs and all miRNAs were down-regulated, and the remaining RNAs were upregulated. Two lncRNAs (MIR1281A2HG and OPCML-IT1) and one miRNA (miR-184) were significantly associated with OS in patients with thyroid cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: Differential RNA expression profiling in thyroid cancer was used to construct a ceRNA network of mRNAs, lncRNAs, and miRNAs that showed potential in evaluating prognosis.

Keywords: carcinogenesis, Gene Expression Profiling, RNA, Long Noncoding, Thyroid Neoplasms