Introduction: Although role of individual microRNAs (miRNAs) in the pathogenesis of gliomas has been well studied, their role as a clustered remains unexplored in gliomas.
Methods: In this study, we performed the expression analysis of miR-379/miR-656 miRNA-cluster (C14MC) in oligodendrogliomas (ODGs) and also investigated the mechanism underlying modulation of this cluster.
Results: We identified significant downregulation of majority of the miRNAs from this cluster in ODGs. Further data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) also confirmed the global downregulation of C14MC. Furthermore, we observed that its regulation is maintained by transcription factor MEF2. In addition, epigenetic machinery involving DNA and histone-methylation are also involved in its regulation, which is acting independently or in synergy. The post- transcriptionally regulatory network of this cluster showed enrichment of key cancer-related biological processes such as cell adhesion and migration. Also, there was enrichment of several cancer related pathways viz PIK3 signaling pathway and glioma pathways. Survival analysis demonstrated association of C14MC (miR-487b and miR-409-3p) with poor progression free survival in ODGs.
Conclusion: Our work demonstrates tumor-suppressive role of C14MC and its role in pathogenesis of ODGs and therefore could be relevant for the development of new therapeutic strategies.
Keywords: C14MC; MEF2; MEG3; Oligodendrogliomas; miRNA cluster.