Theranostics 2015; 5(7):733-745. doi:10.7150/thno.10305

Research Paper

Circulating MiR-16-5p and MiR-19b-3p as Two Novel Potential Biomarkers to Indicate Progression of Gastric Cancer

Jingpu Zhang1*, Yang Song2*, Chunlei Zhang1, Xiao Zhi1, Hualin Fu1,3, Yue Ma1, Yunsheng Chen1, Fei Pan1,3, Kan Wang1, Jian Ni1,3, Weilin Jin1,3, Xianli He2✉, Haichuan Su2✉, Daxiang Cui1,3✉

1. Institute of Nano Biomedicine and Engineering, Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication of the Ministry of Education, Department of Instrument Science and Engineering, School of Electronic Information and Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai, 200240, P. R. China
2. Gastrointestinal Division, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, 569 Xinsi Road, Xi'an, 710038, P. R. China
3. National Center for Translational Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai, 200240, P. R. China
* Identical contribution to this paper.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Zhang J, Song Y, Zhang C, Zhi X, Fu H, Ma Y, Chen Y, Pan F, Wang K, Ni J, Jin W, He X, Su H, Cui D. Circulating MiR-16-5p and MiR-19b-3p as Two Novel Potential Biomarkers to Indicate Progression of Gastric Cancer. Theranostics 2015; 5(7):733-745. doi:10.7150/thno.10305. Available from

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Gastric cancer (GC) is the second most common cancer in China and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the world. Identifying circulating biomarkers is helpful to improve theranostics of gastric cancer. Herein, we are for the first time to report miR-16-5p and miR-19b-3p were identified to be the novel potential plasma biomarkers to detect gastric cancer. Differentially expressed miRNAs were initially screened out by genome-wide miRNA profiling microarrays between 16 plasma samples of gastric cancer and 18 matched normal controls, and then were quantified and validated by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR method between 155 gastric cancer cases and 111 normal controls. Additionally, 30 plasma samples from precancerous lesions and 18 paired samples from gastric cancer patients with gastrectomy were further detected. Results showed that based on two normalization methods, miR-16-5p and miR-19b-3p in plasma were found to be capable of distinguishing normal population from GC cases with different TNM stages and differentiation grades, particularly including the early cancer cases (P<0.05). And the two miRNAs were down-regulated in GC cases (FC<0.5). Especially, the down-regulation degree was correlated with the progression of the GC cases from the early stage to the advanced stage (0.2< rs<0.3, P<0.01). And the same weak down-regulation of the two biomarkers as the early GC occurred initially in the precancerous diseases (P<0.05). The corresponding performance of the two miRNAs to detect GC in ROC analysis gradually performed better with the disease progression from the earlier stages or lower grades to the advanced stages (TNM Ⅳ stage: AUC=0.832 for miR-16-5p; TNM Ⅲ stage: AUC=0.822 for miR-19b-3p) or high grade (Poorly differentiated: AUC=0.801, 0.791 respectively for miR-16-5p and miR-19b-3p). Additionally, miR-19b-3p remained down-regulated in patient plasma within 9 days after gastrectomy. In conclusion, miR-19b-3p and miR-16-5p maybe prospective biomarkers to detect gastric cancer and indicate its progression, and thus may own great potential in applications such as early screening and progression evaluation of gastric cancer in the near future.

Keywords: miR-16-5p, miR-19b-3p, circulating microRNA biomarker, gastric cancer, miRNA profiling microarray, quantitative reverse transcription-PCR