Overexpression of the miR-17-92 cluster in colorectal adenoma organoids causes a carcinoma-like gene expression signature.


Gain of chromosome arm 13q is one of the most prevalent DNA copy number alterations associated with colorectal adenoma-to-carcinoma progression. The oncogenic miR-17-92 cluster, located at 13q, was found to be overexpressed in colorectal cancer and in adenomas harboring 13q gain. However, to what extent overexpression of this group of microRNAs actually drives progression to cancer remains to be resolved. Therefore, we aimed to clarify the role of miR-17-92 cluster in the progression from colorectal adenoma to carcinoma. The miR-17-92 cluster was overexpressed in human colorectal adenoma organoids without 13q gain and downstream effects on mRNA expression were investigated, along with functional consequences in vitro and in vivo. Comparison of mRNA sequencing results of organoids overexpressing miR-17-92 and cultures transduced with control vector revealed a miR-17-92 expression signature. This signature appeared to be enriched in an independent series of colorectal cancers and adenomas with 13q gain, confirming that miR-17-92 expression is associated with malignant progression. However, tumor-associated characteristics, such as increased proliferation rate, were not observed in miR-17-92 overexpressing adenoma organoids in vitro. In addition, subcutaneous injection of these organoids in immunodeficient mice was insufficient to cause tumor outgrowth. In conclusion, this study showed that miR-17-92 expression contributes to 13q gain-associated adenoma-to-carcinoma progression, however, this is insufficient to cause malignancy.

More about this publication

Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)
  • Volume 32
  • Pages 100820
  • Publication date 01-10-2022

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