Objectives Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women in developing countries, including India. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) are gaining importance in cancer biology because of their involvement in various cellular processes. The present study aimed to profile miRNA expression pattern in cervical cancer, identify their target genes, and understand their role in carcinogenesis.
Methods Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection statuses in samples were assessed by heminested polymerase chain reaction followed by direct DNA sequencing. Next-generation sequencing and miRNA microarray were used for miRNA profiling in cervical cancer cell lines and tissue samples, respectively. MicroRNA signature was validated by quantitative real-time PCR, and biological significance was elucidated using various in silico analyses.
Results Cervical cancer tissues samples were mostly infected by HPV type 16 (93%). MicroRNA profiling showed that the pattern of miRNA expression differed with respect to HPV positivity in cervical cancer cell lines. However, target and pathway analyses indicated identical involvement of these significantly deregulated miRNAs in HPV-positive cervical cancer cell lines irrespective of type of HPV infected. Microarray profiling identified a set of miRNAs that are differentially deregulated in cervical cancer tissue samples which were validated using quantitative real-time PCR. In silico analyses revealed that the signature miRNAs are mainly involved in PI3K-Akt and mTOR pathways.
Conclusions The study identified that high-risk HPV induces similar carcinogenic mechanism irrespective of HPV type. The miRNA signature of cervical cancer and their target genes were also elucidated, thereby providing a better insight into the molecular mechanism underlying cervical cancer development.
- Cervical cancer
- Human papillomavirus
- MiRNA microarray
- Small RNA Sequencing
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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.