BackgroundThe incidence of obesity, a known risk factor for several metabolic and chronic diseases, including numerous malignancies, has risen sharply in the world. Various clinical studies demonstrate that excessive Body Mass Index (BMI) may worsen the incidence, prognosis, and mortality rates of breast cancer. Thus, understanding the link tying up obesity and breast cancer onset and progression is critically important, as it can impact patients' survival and quality of life. Recently, circulating extracellular vesicle (EV) derived miRNAs have attracted much attention for their diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic potential in oncology research. Although the potential role of EV-derived miRNAs in the early detection of breast cancer has been repeatedly mentioned, screening of miRNAs packaged within serum EVs has not yet been reported in patients with obesity.MethodsCirculating EVs were isolated from normal weight (NW), and overweight/obese (OW/Ob) breast cancer patients and characterized by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA), and protein marker expression. Evaluation of EV-associated miRNAs was conducted in a screening (RNA-seq) and a validation (qRT-PCR) cohort. Bioinformatic analysis was performed to uncover significantly enriched biological processes, molecular functions and pathways. ROC and Kaplain-Meier survival analyses were used for clinical significance.ResultsComparison of serum EV-derived miRNAs from NW and OW/Ob patients detected seven differentially expressed miRNAs (let-7a-5p, miR-122-5p, miR-30d-5p, miR-126-3p, miR-27b-3p, miR-4772-3p, and miR-10a-5p) in the screening cohort. GO analysis revealed the enrichment of protein phosphorylation, intracellular signal transduction, signal transduction, and vesicle-mediated transport among the top biological processes. In addition, the target genes were significantly enriched in pathways related to PI3K/Akt, growth hormones, and insulin signalings, which are all involved in obesity-related diseases and/or breast cancer progression. In the validation cohort, qRT-PCR confirmed a significant down-regulation of EV-derived let-7a in the serum of OW/Ob breast cancer patients compared to NW patients. Let-7a levels also exhibited a negative correlation with BMI values. Importantly, decreased let-7a miRNA expression was associated with higher tumor grade and poor survival in patients with breast cancer.ConclusionThese results suggest that serum-EV derived miRNAs may reflect a differential profile in relation to a patient's BMI, which, once validated in larger cohorts of patients, could provide insights into novel specific biomarkers and innovative targets to prevent the progression of obesity-mediated breast cancer.

Analysis of circulating extracellular vesicle derived microRNAs in breast cancer patients with obesity: a potential role for Let-7a

Barone I.
;
Gelsomino L.;Giordano F.;Bonofiglio D.;Giordano C.;Catalano S.
2023-01-01

Abstract

BackgroundThe incidence of obesity, a known risk factor for several metabolic and chronic diseases, including numerous malignancies, has risen sharply in the world. Various clinical studies demonstrate that excessive Body Mass Index (BMI) may worsen the incidence, prognosis, and mortality rates of breast cancer. Thus, understanding the link tying up obesity and breast cancer onset and progression is critically important, as it can impact patients' survival and quality of life. Recently, circulating extracellular vesicle (EV) derived miRNAs have attracted much attention for their diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic potential in oncology research. Although the potential role of EV-derived miRNAs in the early detection of breast cancer has been repeatedly mentioned, screening of miRNAs packaged within serum EVs has not yet been reported in patients with obesity.MethodsCirculating EVs were isolated from normal weight (NW), and overweight/obese (OW/Ob) breast cancer patients and characterized by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA), and protein marker expression. Evaluation of EV-associated miRNAs was conducted in a screening (RNA-seq) and a validation (qRT-PCR) cohort. Bioinformatic analysis was performed to uncover significantly enriched biological processes, molecular functions and pathways. ROC and Kaplain-Meier survival analyses were used for clinical significance.ResultsComparison of serum EV-derived miRNAs from NW and OW/Ob patients detected seven differentially expressed miRNAs (let-7a-5p, miR-122-5p, miR-30d-5p, miR-126-3p, miR-27b-3p, miR-4772-3p, and miR-10a-5p) in the screening cohort. GO analysis revealed the enrichment of protein phosphorylation, intracellular signal transduction, signal transduction, and vesicle-mediated transport among the top biological processes. In addition, the target genes were significantly enriched in pathways related to PI3K/Akt, growth hormones, and insulin signalings, which are all involved in obesity-related diseases and/or breast cancer progression. In the validation cohort, qRT-PCR confirmed a significant down-regulation of EV-derived let-7a in the serum of OW/Ob breast cancer patients compared to NW patients. Let-7a levels also exhibited a negative correlation with BMI values. Importantly, decreased let-7a miRNA expression was associated with higher tumor grade and poor survival in patients with breast cancer.ConclusionThese results suggest that serum-EV derived miRNAs may reflect a differential profile in relation to a patient's BMI, which, once validated in larger cohorts of patients, could provide insights into novel specific biomarkers and innovative targets to prevent the progression of obesity-mediated breast cancer.
2023
Breast cancer
Extracellular vesicles
Let-7a
Obesity
miRNAs
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/348737
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