Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 15 pp 19894—19907

Establishing a three-miRNA signature as a prognostic model for colorectal cancer through bioinformatics analysis

Yiming Wang1, *, , Lumi Huang1, *, , Nan Shan2, , Huiwen Ma1, , Songmei Lu1, , Xingyue Chen1, , Hao Long3, ,

  • 1 Department of Medical Oncology, Chongqing University Cancer Hospital, Chongqing, China
  • 2 Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • 3 Department of Palliative Care, Chongqing University Cancer Hospital, Chongqing, China
* Equal contribution

Received: March 3, 2021       Accepted: July 30, 2021       Published: August 13, 2021
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2021 Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Background: Identification of more promising microRNAs (miRNAs) are being extensively studied with respect to colorectal cancer (CRC), since CRC is the leading cause of cancer deaths and most common malignant tumors worldwide. A series of colon cancer (CCa) samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were analyzed to provide a new perspective into this field.

Methods: The expression of miRNAs, mRNAs and the clinical data of 437 CRC patients were downloaded from the TCGA database. The survival-related differentially expressed miRNAs (sDMIRs) and mRNAs were detected by COX regression analysis. The high-risk group and low-risk group were separated by the median risk score of the risk score model. The potential clinical characteristics of these sDMIRs were analyzed by R software. The potential molecular mechanisms of these sDMIRs were explored by computational biology. The expression levels of three sDMIRs were explored by qPCR in CRC samples.

Results: Three DMIRs (hsa-miR-21-3p, hsa-miR-194-3p and hsa-miR-891a-5p) correlated with the most remarkable prognostic values of CRC patients were selected to establish the risk score model (RSM) by univariate and multivariate COX regression analysis and the survival probability of the low-risk group was longer than that in the high-risk group. We detected the target genes of three sDMIRs and the potential molecular mechanisms of these sDMIRs. We further verified the high expression levels of hsa-miR-21-3p and hsa-miR-194-3p were associated with the early T-stages, while hsa-miR-891a-5p illustrated the reversed result.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated three sDMIRs with significantly clinical values illustrated the potential predicting values in the prognosis of CRC patients. Our results may provide a new perspective for the diagnostic methods and treatment strategies in CRC patients.


CCa: colon cancer; CRC: colorectal cancer; DMIRs: differentially expressed miRNAs; RSM: risk score model; sDMIRs: survival-related differentially expressed miRNAs; OS: overall survival; TCGA: The Cancer Genome Atlas; TME: tumor microenvironment.