Similar squamous cell carcinoma epithelium microRNA expression in never smokers and ever smokers
journal contributionposted on 12.09.2016, 00:00 by A. Kolokythas, Y. Zhou, J. L. Schwartz, Guy Adami
The incidence of oral tumors in patients who never used mutagenic agents such as tobacco is increasing. In an effort to better understand these tumors we studied microRNA (miRNA) expression in tumor epithelium of never tobacco users, tumor epithelium of ever tobacco users, and nonpathological control oral epithelium. A comparison of levels among 372 miRNAs in 12 never tobacco users with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) versus 10 healthy controls was made using the reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction. A similar analysis was done with 8 ever tobacco users with OSCC. These comparisons revealed miR-10b-5p, miR-196a-5p, and miR-31-5p as enriched in the tumor epithelium in OSCC of both never and ever tobacco users. Examination of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project miRNA data on 305 OSCCs and 30 controls revealed 100% of those miRNAs enriched in never smoker OSCCs in this patient group were also enriched in ever smoker OSCCs. Nonsupervised clustering of TCGA OSCCs was suggestive of two or four subgroups of tumors based on miRNA levels with limited evidence for differences in tobacco exposure among the groups. Results from both patient groups together stress the importance of miR196a-5p in OSCC malignancy in both never and ever smokers, and emphasize the overall similarity of miRNA expression in OSCCs in these two risk groups. It implies that there may be great similarity in etiology of OSCC in never and ever smokers and that classifying OSCC based on tobacco exposure may not be helpful in the clinic.