J Cancer 2014; 5(3):182-191. doi:10.7150/jca.6799

Research Paper

Potential Urinary miRNA Biomarker Candidates for the Accurate Detection of Prostate Cancer among Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Patients

Taha A Haj-Ahmad1, Moemen AK Abdalla2✉, Yousef Haj-Ahmad1

1. Centre for Biotechnology, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada.
2. Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Egypt.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short (~22nt), single stranded RNA molecules that function as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. MiRNAs can regulate a variety of important biological pathways, including: cellular proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Profiling of miRNA expression patterns was shown to be more useful than the equivalent mRNA profiles for characterizing poorly differentiated tumours. As such, miRNA expression “signatures” are expected to offer serious potential for diagnosing and prognosing cancers of any provenance. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of using deregulation of urinary miRNAs in order to detect Prostate Cancer (PCa) among Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). To identify the miRNA signatures specific for PCa, miRNA expression profiling of 8 PCa patients, 12 BPH patients and 10 healthy males was carried out using whole genome expression profiling. Differential expression of two individual miRNAs between healthy males and BPH patients was detected and found to possibly target genes related to PCa development and progression. The sensitivity and specificity of miR-1825 for detecting PCa among BPH individuals was found to be 60% and 69%, respectively. Whereas, the sensitivity and specificity of miR-484 were 80% and 19%, respectively. Additionally, the sensitivity and specificity for miR-1825/484 in tandem were 45% and 75%, respectively. The proposed PCa miRNA signatures may therefore be of great value for the accurate diagnosis of PCa and BPH. This exploratory study has identified several possible targets that merit further investigation towards the development and validation of diagnostically useful, non-invasive, urine-based tests that might not only help diagnose PCa but also possibly help differentiate it from BPH.

Keywords: Prostate Cancer, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Urine, MicroRNA, Biomarkers.

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How to cite this article:
Haj-Ahmad TA, Abdalla MA, Haj-Ahmad Y. Potential Urinary miRNA Biomarker Candidates for the Accurate Detection of Prostate Cancer among Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Patients. J Cancer 2014; 5(3):182-191. doi:10.7150/jca.6799. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v05p0182.htm