It is reasonable to investigate non-tumor liver tissues to predict a risk for development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A molecular analysis of chronically damaged liver tissues may identify specific miRNA expression profiles associated with a risk for multicentric (MC) HCC.Methods:
Twenty HCC patients, who underwent a curative hepatectomy were classified into two groups: a non-MC group (no MC recurrence in more than 3 years, n = 10) and an MC group (MC recurrence within 3 years after hepatectomy, n = 10). An miRNA microarray (955 probes) was used to compare the miRNA expression patterns of the non-cancerous liver tissues between the two groups. This study identified the differentially expressed miRNA related to MC recurrence in the liver remnant.Results:
No differences were observed between the two groups in the liver function tests and pathological variables including both tumor factors and non-tumor liver tissues. The investigation selected 20 differentially expressed miRNA related to MC recurrence. Eighteen miRNA were downregulated, while two miRNA were upregulated in the MC group. A hierarchical clustering analysis identified a cluster that may be associated with risk of the MC recurrence of HCC. The MC recurrence-related miRNA included let-7d*, miR-328 and miR18a*, which potentially regulate K-ras gene expression. A significant inverse correlation between the miR-18a* expression and the K-ras mRNA expression was confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.Conclusion:
Specific miRNA expression signatures in non-cancerous liver tissue may help to predict the risk for de novo development of HCC.