Differentiating soft tissue leiomyosarcoma and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma: A miRNA analysis

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014 Aug;53(8):693-702. doi: 10.1002/gcc.22179. Epub 2014 Apr 26.


The rare and highly aggressive adult soft tissue sarcomas leiomyosarcoma (LMS) and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS) contain complex genomes characterized by a multitude of rearrangements, amplifications, and deletions. Differential diagnosis remains a challenge. MicroRNA (miRNA) profiling was conducted on a series of LMS and UPS samples to initially investigate the differential expression and to identify specific signatures useful for improving the differential diagnosis. Initially, 10 high-grade LMS and 10 high-grade UPS were profiled with a miRNA microarray. Two cultured human mesenchymal stem cell samples were used as controls. 38 and 46 miRNAs classified UPS and LMS samples, respectively, into separate groups compared to control samples. When comparing the two profiles, miR-199b-5p, miR-320a, miR-199a-3p, miR-126, miR-22 were differentially expressed. These were validated by RT-PCR on a further series of 27 UPS and 21 LMS for a total of 68 cases. The levels of miR-199-5p and miR-320a, in particular, confirmed the microarray data, the former highly expressed in UPS and the latter in LMS. Immunohistochemistry was performed on all 68 cases to confirm original diagnosis. Recently reported LMS- and UPS-associated genes were correlated with miRNA targets based on target algorithms of three databases. Several genes including IMP3, ROR2, MDM2, CDK4, and UPA, are targets of differentially expressed miRNAs. We identified miRNA expression patterns in LMS and UPS, linking them to chromosomal regions and mRNA targets known to be involved in tumor development/progression of LMS and UPS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Leiomyosarcoma / diagnosis*
  • Leiomyosarcoma / genetics
  • Leiomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Liposarcoma / diagnosis*
  • Liposarcoma / genetics
  • Liposarcoma / pathology
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs