Background: Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is molecularly diverse and distinct molecular subtypes show different clinical outcomes. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are essential components of gene regulatory networks and play a crucial role in progression of many cancer types including ccRCC.Objective: Identify prognostic miRNAs and determine the role of miR-22 in ccRCC.Methods: Hierarchical clustering was done in R using gene expression profiles of over 450 ccRCC cases in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to identify prognostic miRNAs in the TCGA dataset. RNA-Seq was performed to identify miR-22 target genes in primary ccRCC cells and Matrigel invasion assay was performed to assess the effects of miR-22 overexpression on cell invasion.Results: Hierarchical clustering analysis using 2,621 prognostic genes previously identified by our group demonstrated that ccRCC patients with longer overall survival expressed lower levels of genes promoting proliferation or immune responses, while better maintaining gene expression associated with cortical differentiation and cell adhesion. Targets of 26 miRNAs were significantly enriched in the 2,621 prognostic genes and these miRNAs were prognostic by themselves. MiR-22 was associated with poor overall survival in the TCGA dataset. Overexpression of miR-22 promoted invasion of primary ccRCC cells in vitro and modulated transcriptional programs implicated in cancer progression including DNA repair, cell proliferation and invasion.Conclusions: Our results suggest that ccRCCs with differential clinical outcomes have distinct transcriptomes for which miRNAs could serve as master regulators. MiR-22, as a master regulator, promotes ccRCC progression at least in part by enhancing cell invasion.
View details for DOI 10.3233/KCA-190051
View details for PubMedID 31763513