Exploiting salivary miR-31 as a clinical biomarker of oral squamous cell carcinoma

Authors

  • Chung-Ji Liu DDS, MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, National Yang–Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. MacKay Medicine, Nursing and Management College, Taipei, Taiwan
    3. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, MacKay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Institute of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, National Yang–Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
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    • Dr. Liu and Dr. Lin contributed equally to this work.

  • Shu-Chun Lin PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, National Yang–Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. MacKay Medicine, Nursing and Management College, Taipei, Taiwan
    3. Department of Stomatology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Institute of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, National Yang–Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Cheng-Chieh Yang DDS, PhD,

    1. Institute of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, National Yang–Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. MacKay Medicine, Nursing and Management College, Taipei, Taiwan
    3. Department of Stomatology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Hui-Wen Cheng MS,

    1. MacKay Medicine, Nursing and Management College, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Department of Medical Research, MacKay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Kuo-Wei Chang DDS, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, National Yang–Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. MacKay Medicine, Nursing and Management College, Taipei, Taiwan
    3. Department of Stomatology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Institute of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, National Yang–Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
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Abstract

Background

Oral carcinoma is an important malignancy throughout the world. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenously expressed, non-coding RNAs that regulate post-transcriptional levels of targeted mRNAs. MiRNA-31(miR-31) is significantly upregulated in oral carcinoma tissues and plays oncogenic roles in oral carcinogenesis.

Methods

We analyzed the levels of miR-31 in saliva of patients with oral carcinoma (n = 45), oral verrucous leukoplakia (n = 10), and control healthy individuals (n = 24) by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

Results

Salivary miR-31 was significantly increased in patients with oral carcinoma at all clinical stages, including very small tumors. However, our preliminary analysis showed no increase of salivary miR-31in patients with oral verrucous leukoplakia relative to controls. The miR-31 was more abundant in saliva than in plasma, suggesting salivary miR-31 was a more sensitive marker for oral malignancy. After excision of oral carcinoma, salivary miR-31 was remarkably reduced, indicating that most of the upregulated salivary miR-31 came from tumor tissues.

Conclusion

Our results point to a potential application of salivary miR-31 as a biomarker for early detection and postoperative follow-up of oral carcinoma. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012

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