MicroRNAs, which are small regulatory RNAs, post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression by binding 3'-UTR of their mRNA targets. Their deregulation has been shown to cause increased proliferation, migration, invasion, and apoptosis. miR-145, an important tumor supressor microRNA, has shown to be downregulated in many cancer types and has crucial roles in tumor initiation, progression, metastasis, invasion, recurrence, and chemo-radioresistance. Our aim is to investigate potential common target genes of miR-145, and to help understanding the underlying molecular pathways of tumor pathogenesis in association with those common target genes.
Eight published microarray datasets, where targets of mir-145 were investigated in cell lines upon mir-145 over expression, were included into this study for meta-analysis. Inter group variabilities were assessed by box-plot analysis. Microarray datasets were analyzed using GEOquery package in Bioconducter 3.2 with R version 3.2.2 and two-way Hierarchical Clustering was used for gene expression data analysis.
Meta-analysis of different GEO datasets showed that UNG, FUCA2, DERA, GMFB, TF, and SNX2 were commonly downregulated genes, whereas MYL9 and TAGLN were found to be commonly upregulated upon mir-145 over expression in prostate, breast, esophageal, bladder cancer, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Biological process, molecular function, and pathway analysis of these potential targets of mir-145 through functional enrichments in PPI network demonstrated that those genes are significantly involved in telomere maintenance, DNA binding and repair mechanisms.
As a conclusion, our results indicated that mir-145, through targeting its common potential targets, may significantly contribute to tumor pathogenesis in distinct cancer types and might serve as an important target for cancer therapy.