Identification of MGMT Downregulation Induced by miRNA in Glioblastoma and Possible Effect on Temozolomide Sensitivity

J Clin Med. 2023 Mar 6;12(5):2061. doi: 10.3390/jcm12052061.


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains one of the tumors with the worst prognosis. In recent years, a better overall survival (OS) has been described in cases subjected to Gross Total Resection (GTR) that were presenting hypermethylation of Methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter. Recently, also the expression of specific miRNAs involved in MGMT silencing has been related to survival. In this study, we evaluate MGMT expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC), MGMT promoter methylation and miRNA expression in 112 GBMs and correlate the data to patients' clinical outcomes. Statistical analyses demonstrate a significant association between positive MGMT IHC and the expression of miR-181c, miR-195, miR-648 and miR-767.3p between unmethylated cases and the low expression of miR-181d and miR-648 and between methylated cases and the low expression of miR-196b. Addressing the concerns of clinical associations, a better OS has been described in presence of negative MGMT IHC, in methylated patients and in the cases with miR-21, miR-196b overexpression or miR-767.3 downregulation. In addition, a better progression-free survival (PFS) is associated with MGMT methylation and GTR but not with MGMT IHC and miRNA expression. In conclusion, our data reinforce the clinical relevance of miRNA expression as an additional marker to predict efficacy of chemoradiation in GBM.

Keywords: MGMT; glioblastoma; miRNA; overall survival; progression-free survival; temozolomide.

Grants and funding

This study was supported by Fondazione Ticinese contro il Cancro (2013 announcement).