Integrative analysis of microRNA, mRNA and aCGH data reveals asbestos- and histology-related changes in lung cancer.
ABSTRACT Lung cancer has the highest mortality rate of all of the cancers in the world and asbestos-related lung cancer is one of the leading occupational cancers. The identification of asbestos-related molecular changes has long been a topic of increasing research interest. The aim of this study was to identify novel asbestos-related molecular correlates by integrating miRNA expression profiling with previously obtained profiling data (aCGH and mRNA expression) from the same patient material. miRNA profiling was performed on 26 tumor and corresponding normal lung tissue samples from highly asbestos-exposed and non-exposed patients, and on eight control lung tissue samples. Data analyses on miRNA expression, and integration of miRNA and previously obtained mRNA data were performed using Chipster. A separate analysis was used to integrate miRNA and previously obtained aCGH data. Both known and new lung cancer-associated miRNAs and target genes with inverse correlation were discovered. Furthermore, DNA copy number alterations (e.g., gain at 12p13.31) were correlated with the deregulated miRNAs. Specifically, thirteen novel asbestos-related miRNAs (over-expressed: miR-148b, miR-374a, miR-24-1*, Let-7d, Let-7e, miR-199b-5p, miR-331-3p, and miR-96 and under-expressed: miR-939, miR-671-5p, miR-605, miR-1224-5p and miR-202) and inversely correlated target genes (e.g., GADD45A, LTBP1, FOSB, NCALD, CACNA2D2, MTSS1, EPB41L3) were identified. In addition, over-expression of the well known squamous cell carcinoma-associated miR-205 was linked to down-regulation of the DOK4 gene. The miRNAs/genes presented here may represent interesting targets for further investigation and could eventually have potential diagnostic implications.