A novel cross-species differential tumor classification method based on exosome-derived microRNA biomarkers established by human-dog lymphoid and mammary tumor cell lines' transcription profiles

Vet World. 2022 May;15(5):1163-1170. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2022.1163-1170. Epub 2022 May 11.


Background and aim: Exosome-derived microRNA (miRNA) has been widely studied as a non-invasive candidate biomarker for tumor diagnosis in humans and dogs. Its application, however, was primarily focused on intraspecies usage for individual tumor type diagnosis. This study aimed to gain insight into its application as a cross-species differential tumor diagnostic tool; we demonstrated the process of identifying and using exosome-derived miRNA as biomarkers for the classification of lymphoid and mammary tumor cell lines in humans and dogs.

Materials and methods: Exosome-derived miRNA sequencing data from B-cell lymphoid tumor cell lines (n=13), mammary tumor cell lines (n=8), and normal mammary epithelium cultures (n=4) were pre-processed in humans and dogs. F-test and rank product (RP) analyses were used to select candidate miRNA orthologs for tumor cell line classification. The classification was carried out using an optimized support vector machine (SVM) with various kernel classifiers, including linear SVM, polynomial SVM, and radial basis function SVM. The receiver operating characteristic and precision-recall curves were used to assess the performance of all models.

Results: MIR10B, MIR21, and MIR30E were chosen as the candidate orthologs from a total of 236 human-dog miRNA orthologs (p≤0.01, F-test score ≥10, and RP score ≤10). Their use of polynomial SVM provided the best performance in classifying samples from various tumor cell lines and normal epithelial culture.

Conclusion: The study successfully demonstrated a method for identifying and utilizing candidate human-dog exosome-derived miRNA orthologs for differential tumor cell line classification. Such findings shed light on a novel non-invasive tumor diagnostic tool that could be used in both human and veterinary medicine in the future.

Keywords: exosome-derived microRNA; meta-analysis; ortholog; support vector machine; tumor.