Background: Chordoma pathogenesis remains poorly understood. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the relationships between microRNA-155 (miR-155) expression and the clinicopathological features of chordoma patients, and to evaluate the functional role of miR-155 in chordoma.
Methods: The miRNA expression profiles were analyzed using miRNA microarray assays. Regulatory activity of miR-155 was assessed using bioinformatic tools. miR-155 expression levels were validated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The relationships between miR-155 expression and the clinicopathological features of chordoma patients were analyzed. Proliferative, migratory and invasive activities were assessed by MTT, wound healing, and Matrigel invasion assays, respectively.
Results: The miRNA microarray assay revealed miR-155 to be highly expressed and biologically active in chordoma. miR-155 expression in chordoma tissues was significantly elevated, and this expression correlated significantly with disease stage (p = 0.036) and the presence of metastasis (p = 0.035). miR-155 expression also correlated significantly with poor outcomes for chordoma patients (hazard ratio, 5.32; p = 0.045). Inhibition of miR-155 expression suppressed proliferation, and the migratory and invasive activities of chordoma cells.
Conclusions: We have shown miR-155 expression to independently affect prognosis in chordoma. These results collectively indicate that miR-155 expression may serve not only as a prognostic marker, but also as a potential therapeutic target in chordoma.
Keywords: RT-PCR; chordoma; miRNA microarray assay; miRNA-155 (miR-155); prognosis.