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Computational Analysis of miRNA and their Gene Targets Significantly Involved in Colorectal Cancer Progression

[ Vol. 8 , Issue. 1 ]

Author(s):

Jeyalakshmi Kandhavelu, Kumar Subramanian, Amber Khan, Aadilah Omar, Paul Ruff and Clement Penny*   Pages 68 - 75 ( 8 )

Abstract:


Background: Globally, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in women and the fourth most common cancer in men. Dysregulation of small non-coding miRNAs have been correlated with colon cancer progression. Since there are increasing reports of candidate miRNAs as potential biomarkers for CRC, this makes it important to explore common miRNA biomarkers for colon cancer. As computational prediction of miRNA targets is a critical initial step in identifying miRNA: mRNA target interactions for validation, we aim here to construct a potential miRNA network and its gene targets for colon cancer from previously reported candidate miRNAs, inclusive of 10 up- and 9 down-regulated miRNAs from tissues; and 10 circulatory miRNAs.

Methods: The gene targets were predicted using DIANA-microT-CDS and TarBaseV7.0 databases. Each miRNA and its targets were analyzed further for colon cancer hotspot genes, whereupon DAVID analysis and mirPath were used for KEGG pathway analysis.

Results: We have predicted 874 and 157 gene targets for tissue and serum specific miRNA candidates, respectively. The enrichment of miRNA revealed that particularly hsa-miR-424-5p, hsa-miR-96-5p, hsa-miR-1290, hsa-miR-224, hsa-miR-133a and has-miR-363-3p present possible targets for colon cancer hallmark genes, including BRAF, KRAS, EGFR, APC, amongst others. DAVID analysis of miRNA and associated gene targets revealed the KEGG pathways most related to cancer and colon cancer. Similar results were observed in mirPath analysis. A new insight gained in the colon cancer network pathway was the association of hsa-mir-133a and hsa-mir-96-5p with the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway. In the present study, target prediction shows that while hsa-mir-424-5p has an association with mostly 10 colon cancer hallmark genes, only their associations with MAP2 and CCND1 have been experimentally validated.

Conclusion: These miRNAs and their targets require further evaluation for a better understanding of their associations, ultimately with the potential to develop novel therapeutic targets.

Keywords:

Biomarker, colon cancer, DIANA, KEGG pathway, miRNA, target prediction.

Affiliation:

Oncology Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050, Johannesburg, Oncology Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050, Johannesburg, Oncology Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050, Johannesburg, Oncology Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050, Johannesburg, Oncology Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050, Johannesburg, Oncology Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050, Johannesburg



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