Background: The current study aims to evaluate the expression and diagnostic value of exosomal miR-148a-3p in the serum of DTC patients.
Methods: Exosomes were isolated from the serum of DTC patients and were identified using a transmission electron microscope. RT-PCR was performed to determine the level of exosomal miR-148a-3p in DTC patients. The possible target gene of miR-148a-3p was determined using dual luciferase reporter assay. ROC analysis was performed to determine the diagnostic value of exosomal miR-148a-3p in DTC patients.
Results: We identified a novel exosomal miRNA, exosomal miR-148a-3p, that was significantly decreased in the serum of DTC patients compared with that of benign thyroid tumor patients and healthy controls. Further study showed that exosomal miR-148a-3p was correlated with the malignant characteristics of DTC, including tumor diameter, lymph node metastasis (LNM), and higher TNM staging. Dual luciferase reporter assay indicated that IGF-1 was a target gene of miR-148a-3p. ROC analysis demonstrated that the AUC of exosomal miR-148a-3p was better than TgAb and Tg in DTC patients. More importantly, combined use of exosomal miR-148a-3p, TgAb, and Tg significantly enhanced the sensitivity and specificity, indicating exosomal miR-148a-3p is a sensitive biomarker in DTC patients.
Conclusions: Altogether, reduced exosomal miR-148a-3p was associated with the risk of DTC and may be used as a biomarker for the diagnosis of DTC.