Increased miR-708 expression in NSCLC and its association with poor survival in lung adenocarcinoma from never smokers.
ABSTRACT miRNA plays an important role in human disease and cancer. We seek to investigate the expression status, clinical relevance, and functional role of miRNA in non-small cell lung cancer.
We conducted miRNA expression profiling in matched lung adenocarcinoma and uninvolved lung using 56 pairs of fresh-frozen (FF) and 47 pairs of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples from never smokers. The most differentially expressed miRNA genes were evaluated by Cox analysis and log-rank test. Among the best candidate, miR-708 was further examined for differential expression in two independent cohorts. Functional significance of miR-708 expression in lung cancer was examined by identifying its candidate mRNA target and through manipulating its expression levels in cultured cells.
Among the 20 miRNAs most differentially expressed between tested tumor and normal samples, high expression level of miR-708 in the tumors was most strongly associated with an increased risk of death after adjustments for all clinically significant factors including age, sex, and tumor stage (FF cohort: HR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.08-3.35; P = 0.025 and FFPE cohort: HR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.02-3.63; P = 0.042). The transcript for TMEM88 gene has a miR-708 binding site in its 3' UTR and was significantly reduced in tumors high of miR-708. Forced miR-708 expression reduced TMEM88 transcript levels and increased the rate of cell proliferation, invasion, and migration in culture.
miRNA-708 acts as an oncogene contributing to tumor growth and disease progression by directly downregulating TMEM88, a negative regulator of the Wnt signaling pathway in lung cancer.