Identification of common oncogenic and early developmental pathways in the ovarian carcinomas controlling by distinct prognostically significant microRNA subsets
Kuznetsov, Vladimir A.
Ivshina, Anna V.
Date of Issue2017
School of Computer Science and Engineering
Background: High-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HG-SOC) is the dominant tumor histologic type in epithelial ovarian cancers, exhibiting highly aberrant microRNA expression profiles and diverse pathways that collectively determine the disease aggressiveness and clinical outcomes. However, the functional relationships between microRNAs, the common pathways controlled by the microRNAs and their prognostic and therapeutic significance remain poorly understood. Methods: We investigated the gene expression patterns of microRNAs in the tumors of 582 HG-SOC patients to identify prognosis signatures and pathways controlled by tumor miRNAs. We developed a variable selection and prognostic method, which performs a robust selection of small-sized subsets of the predictive features (e.g., expressed microRNAs) that collectively serves as the biomarkers of cancer risk and progression stratification system, interconnecting these features with common cancer-related pathways. Results: Across different cohorts, our meta-analysis revealed two robust and unbiased miRNA-based prognostic classifiers. Each classifier reproducibly discriminates HG-SOC patients into high-confidence low-, intermediate- or high-prognostic risk subgroups with essentially different 5-year overall survival rates of 51.6-85%, 20-38.1%, and 0-10%, respectively. Significant correlations of the risk subgroup’s stratification with chemotherapy treatment response were observed. We predicted specific target genes involved in nine cancer-related and two oocyte maturation pathways (neurotrophin and progesterone-mediated oocyte maturation), where each gene can be controlled by more than one miRNA species of the distinct miRNA HG-SOC prognostic classifiers. Conclusions: We identified robust and reproducible miRNA-based prognostic subsets of the of HG-SOC classifiers. The miRNAs of these classifiers could control nine oncogenic and two developmental pathways, highlighting common underlying pathologic mechanisms and perspective targets for the further development of a personalized prognosis assay(s) and the development of miRNA-interconnected pathway-centric and multi-agent therapeutic intervention.
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