Background: The aim of this study was to identify miRNAs specifically dysregulated in BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer, which could lead to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying oncogenesis of this malignant subtype of colorectal cancer. Methods: Candidate dysregulated miRNAs were selected in genome-wide miRNA expression array analysis using a screening set composed of 15 BRAF-mutated and 15 non-KRAS/BRAF-mutated colorectal cancers. The miRNA expressions were validated in another set of patients. The functional roles of the miRNAs were analyzed by cell growth and invasion assays. The association between miRNA expression status and the clinical outcome of patients treated with various chemotherapies was analyzed. Results: Within the top five of the miRNAs screened, we validated miRNA-31 (miR-31) and miR-135b as up-regulated, while miR-193a-3p was down-regulated in BRAF-mutated cancer. Moreover, miR-193a-3p inhibited cell growth, and invasion of colorectal cancer cells. Low miR-193a-3p expression was associated with shorter progression-free survival in patients who received anti-EGFR therapy. Conclusions: Our results disclose a novel tumor suppressive role of miR-193a-3p in colorectal cancer. These results could lead to novel therapeutic strategies for colorectal cancer, particularly in BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer.
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