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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 921-928

Evaluation of the role of microRNA-21 in regulating the expression of PTEN (Phosphatase and Tensin Homolog) in egyptian hepatocellular carcinoma patients

1 Department of Molecular Diagnostics, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute, Sadat City University, Menoufiya, Egypt
2 Department of clinical Biochemistry, National Liver Institute, Menoufiya University, Menoufiya, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Waleed F Alnoanmany
11 Youssif St., Shebin Elkom, El-Menoufiya, 32511
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-2098.202517

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Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of microRNA-21 and Phosphatase and Tensin Homolog (PTEN) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Background MicroRNAs are conserved, small (20–25) nucleotides, noncoding RNAs that negatively regulate the expression of mRNAs at the post-transcriptional level. MicroRNA signature is altered in different disease states, including cancer, and some microRNAs act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Materials and methods To identify the causal role of microRNA-21/PTEN in HCC, 30 newly diagnosed HCC cases of different stages, 20 hepatitis C virus-positive cases, and 20 healthy controls were tested for circulating microRNA-21 and the tumor suppressor gene PTEN using whole blood at the National Liver Institute, Menoufiya University. RNA and microRNA extraction, amplification, and real-time PCR were performed on all samples along with various other biochemical analyses. Results Real-time PCR analysis demonstrated upregulation of oncogenic microRNA-21 and showed reduced expression of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN at different stages of HCC. However, there were no significant microRNA-21 and PTEN changes in the hepatitis C virus or control groups. Receiver operating characteristic curve study showed that the best cutoff value for microRNA-21 was 3.93 (fold expression) with a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 90%. The cut-off value for Alpha feto protein was 91.7 (ng/ml), with a sensitivity of 75.2% and specificity of 92.3%. Conclusion Increased expression of microRNA-21 could contribute to HCC growth and spread by affecting PTEN expression.

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