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MicroRNA expression patterns associated with hyperfunctioning and non-hyperfunctioning phenotypes in adrenocortical adenomas

, : MicroRNA expression patterns associated with hyperfunctioning and non-hyperfunctioning phenotypes in adrenocortical adenomas. European Journal of Endocrinology 170(4): 583-591

The adrenocortical adenoma (ACA) entity includes aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA), cortisol-producing adenoma (CPA), and non-hyperfunctioning adenoma (NHFA) phenotypes. While gene mutations and mRNA expression profiles have been partly characterized, less is known about the alterations involving microRNA (miRNA) expression. To characterize miRNA expression profile in relation to the subtypes of ACAs. miRNA expression profiles were determined in 26 ACAs (nine APAs, ten CPAs, and seven NHFAs) and four adrenal references using microarray-based screening. Significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) was carried out to identify differentially expressed miRNAs between ACA and adrenal cortices or between tumor subtypes. Selected differentially expressed miRNAs were validated in an extended series of 43 ACAs and ten adrenal references by quantitative RT-PCR. An hierarchical clustering revealed separate clusters for APAs and CPAs, while the NHFAs were found spread out within the APA/CPA clusters. When NHFA was excluded, the clustering analysis showed a better separation between APA and CPA. SAM analysis identified 40 over-expressed and three under-expressed miRNAs in the adenomas as compared with adrenal references. Fourteen miRNAs were common among the three ACA subtypes. Furthermore, we found specific miRNAs associated with different tumor phenotypes. The results suggest that miRNA expression profiles can distinguish different subtypes of ACA, which may contribute to a deeper understanding of ACA development and potential therapeutics.


PMID: 24446485

DOI: 10.1530/EJE-13-0817

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