MicroRNA expression associated with low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia outcomes

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Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology


Purpose: Only a fraction of low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) progresses to high-grade CIN; however, the biological processes that differentiate progressive CIN from CIN that resolves naturally are poorly understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important epigenetic regulators of gene expression and thus, miRNA expression profiling can reveal the dysregulated biology underlying disease processes. The purpose of this case–control study was to reveal miRNA expression patterns and predict the underlying biological pathways that are associated with clinical outcomes of low-grade CIN. Methods: Women with low-grade CIN diagnosis and definitive clinical outcomes (n = 51) were identified retrospectively using electronic clinical records. Comprehensive miRNA expression profiling was performed on the low-grade CIN diagnostic cervical biopsies retrieved from pathology archives. Differential miRNA expression was analyzed by comparing women with CIN that progressed to women with CIN that resolved naturally. Results: Differential expression of 29 miRNAs was observed in low-grade CIN that progressed to high-grade compared to low-grade CIN that resolved. Of these, 24 were significantly downregulated in progressive CIN, including miR-638, miR-3196, miR-4488, and miR-4508, while 5 miRNAs, including miR-1206a, were significantly upregulated. Computational gene ontology analysis based on the discovered miRNAs and their putative mRNA targets revealed biological processes associated with oncogenic phenotypes. Conclusion: Distinct miRNA expression profiles are associated with clinical outcomes of low-grade CIN. The functional effects of the differentially expressed miRNAs may be biological determinants of CIN progression or resolution.

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