Background: Increasing evidence has shown that the deregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is closely related to the development and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To screen for HCC-specific miRNAs, this study investigated the differentially expressed miRNAs between HCC and matched non-tumorous tissue (NT).
Methods: This study analyzed the differential expression profiles of miRNAs in 11 pairs of HCC and matched NT from 11 hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection patients with the RT2 miRNA PCR array containing 88 human cancerrelated miRNAs. The fold change value was more than two between the HCC and the matched NT, which indicated that there was deregulation of miRNAs. The down-regulated let-7a was validated in another sample set of 34 tissues with the TaqMan RT-qPCR method.
Results: Compared with the matched NT tissues, 9 miRNAs were up-regulated in the HCC tissues, and three were considered statistically significant (p < 0.05): miR-96, miR-183, and miR-196a, which were up-regulated 4.746-, 7.127-, and 3.498-fold, respectively. Simultaneously, 9 miRNAs were down-regulated in the HCC tissues, and two were considered statistically significant: let-7c and miR-138, which were down-regulated 3.945- and 4.790-fold, respectively. The expression levels of let-7a were 1.071 ± 0.401, 0.926 ± 0.477, 0.881 ± 1.214, and 0.535 ± 0.719 in the healthy group, chronic hepatitis B(CHB) group, NT group, and HCC group, respectively (p > 0.05).
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that 18 miRNAs were deregulated in the HCC and matched NT tissues. The deregulated miRNAs suggest that further analyses with larger miRNA samples as a diagnostic marker are warranted.