Background: Emerging evidence indicate that miRNAs play an important role on gastric cancer (GC) progression via regulating several downstream targets, but it is still partially uncovered. This study aimed to explore the molecular mechanisms of GC by comprehensive analysis of mRNAs and miRNA expression profiles.
Methods: The mRNA and miRNA expression profiles of GSE79973 and GSE67354 downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus were used to analyze the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and DE-miRNAs among GC tissues and normal tissues. Then, targets genes of DE-miRNAs were predicted and the DE-miRNA-DEG regulatory network was constructed. Next, function enrichment analysis of the overlapped genes between the predicted DE-miRNAs targets and DEGs was performed and a protein-protein interactions network of overlapped genes was constructed. Finally, RT-PCR analysis was performed to detect the expression levels of several key DEGs and DE-miRNAs.
Results: A set of 703 upregulated and 600 downregulated DEGs, as well as 8 upregulated DE-miRNAs and 27 downregulated DE-miRNAs were identified in GC tissue. hsa-miR-193b-3p and hsa-miR-148a-3p, which targeted most DEGs, were highlighted in the DE-miRNA-DEG regulatory network, as well as hsa-miR-1179, which targeted KNL1, was newly predicted to be associated with GC. In addition, NCAPG, which is targeted by miR-193b-3p, and KNL1, which is targeted by hsa-miR-1179, had higher degrees in the PPI network. RT-qPCR results showed that hsa-miR-148a-3p, hsa-miR-193b-3p, and hsa-miR-1179 were downregulated, and NCAPG and KNL1 were upregulated in GC tissues; this is consistent with our bioinformatics-predicted results.
Conclusions: The downregulation of miR-193b-3p might contribute to GC cell proliferation by mediating the upregulation of NCAPG; as additionally, the downregulation of miR-193b-3p might contribute to the mitotic nuclear division of GC cells by mediating the upregulation of KNL1.
Keywords: Differentially expressed genes; Gastric cancer; Protein–protein interaction network; Regulatory network.