Research examining the potential for circulating miRNA to serve as markers for preneoplastic lesions or early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is hindered by the difficulties of obtaining samples from asymptomatic individuals. As a surrogate for human samples, we identified hub miRNAs in gene co-expression networks using HCC-bearing C3H mice. We confirmed 38 hub miRNAs as associated with HCC in F2 hybrid mice derived from radiogenic HCC susceptible and resistant founders. When compared to a panel of 12 circulating miRNAs associated with human HCC, two had no mouse ortholog and 7 of the remaining 10 miRNAs overlapped with the 38 mouse HCC hub miRNAs. Using small RNA sequencing data generated from serially collected plasma samples in F2 mice, we examined the temporal levels of these 7 circulating miRNAs and found that the levels of 4 human circulating markers, miR-122-5p, miR-100-5p, miR-34a-5p and miR-365-3p increased linearly as the time approaching HCC detection neared, suggesting a correlation of miRNA levels with oncogenic progression. Estimation of change points in the kinetics of the 4 circulating miRNAs suggested the changes started 17.5 to 6.8 months prior to HCC detection. These data establish these 4 circulating miRNAs as potential sentinels for preneoplastic lesions or early-stage HCC.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Dec 2022|
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