Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the common lethal types of tumors all over the world. Overexpression of mircoRNA-224 (miR-224) has been reported to act as a potential biomarker for HCC patients. The goal of our study was to assess the prognostic impact of the expression and polymorphism of miR-224 in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients after liver resection.
Methods: A total of 62 cases of HBV-positive HCC patients, 17 HCC patients without HBV, and 13 healthy cases were enrolled in this study. Blood leukocyte miR-224 level were determined by qRT-PCR. Genotyping analysis of miR-224 rs188519172 was performed using an allele-specific PCR assay. All patients were undergoing partial liver resection and the prognostic values of miR-224 rs188519172 polymorphism for tumor development, survival rate, and liver injury after liver resection were examined.
Results: When we compared the blood leukocyte miR-224 level between HCC patients and healthy cases, we found that it was significantly increased in HCC patients. By subgroup analysis, it demonstrated that miR-224 expression was significantly increased in the HBV positive group compared with the HBV negative group. miR-224 rs188519172 AG + GG phenotype was significantly associated with severe liver injury after liver resection and patients carrying miR-224 rs188519172 AG + GG phenotype have a higher risk of cirrhosis and lower overall and disease-free survival rate. Meanwhile, the combination of miR-224 rs188519172 AG + GG phenotype and AFP value could improve the prognosis assessment of HBV related HCC.
Conclusions: miR-224 rs188519172 polymorphism is an indicator of liver injury and a novel prognostic biomarker for tumor development and survival of HBV related HCC patients after liver resection.