Tissue-based miRNA mapping in alcoholic liver cirrhosis: different profiles in cirrhosis with or without hepatocellular carcinoma

Biomarkers. 2020 Feb;25(1):62-68. doi: 10.1080/1354750X.2019.1691267. Epub 2019 Nov 14.


Context: Alcoholic liver cirrhosis is a significant risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The importance of tumour-associated cirrhosis in the development or progression of HCC is not understood. MiRNAs are important regulators for HCC development, but their role in HCC due to alcoholic liver cirrhosis is unclear.Objective: The aim of this study is the detection of miRNA expression in alcoholic liver cirrhosis, tumour-associated cirrhosis, and HCC.Materials and methods: We analysed the differences in the miRNA profiles of HCC, tumour-associated cirrhosis, and cirrhosis without HCC samples from 30 patients who underwent liver transplantation because of alcoholic liver disease.Results: Microarray analyses revealed 40 significantly differentially expressed miRNAs between HCC tissue and tumour-associated cirrhosis tissue. Furthermore, the microarray analysis discovered 56 differentially expressed miRNAs in tumour-associated cirrhosis and cirrhosis without HCC.Discussion: The differences of miRNA profile in alcoholic liver cirrhosis with and without HCC could improve understanding of HCC development, as well as lead to a new diagnostic tool in HCC screening.Conclusion: We were able to show for the first time, the differences of miRNA profile as promising biomarker in HCC, tumour-associated cirrhosis, and cirrhosis without HCC in context of alcoholic liver disease.

Keywords: Alcoholic liver disease; HCC; biomarker; liver transplantation; miRNa; tumour surrounding tissue.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms / etiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Transcriptome*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs