Circulatory miRNA-484, 524, 615 and 628 expression profiling in HCV mediated HCC among Egyptian patients; implications for diagnosis and staging of hepatic cirrhosis and fibrosis

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© 2020 Circulatory microRNAs have recently emerged as non-invasive and effective biomarkers for diagnosis of various diseases. Currently there is no reliable biomarker for diagnosis, prognosis or even staging of fibrotic and cirrhotic complications arising from HCV infection. This study aimed at investigating plasma miR-484, miR-524, miR-615-5p and miR-628-3p expression signatures in Egyptian patients with HCV mediated cirrhosis, fibrosis and HCC. Plasma miRNAs expressions in 168 samples [(40 healthy controls, 47 with HCV liver fibrosis, 40 with HCV-cirrhosis and 41 with HCV-hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)] were quantified using RT-PCR. The studied miRNAs were differentially expressed among all participating groups. Plasma miR-484 levels exhibited significant downregulation in advanced fibrosis as compared to mild fibrosis and HCC. Moreover, miR-484 showed significant upregulation in HCC versus cirrhosis. Both miR-524-5p and miR-615-5p were upregulated in cirrhotic group as compared to controls. Differential expression between HCC and controls was noticeable in miR-524-5p. Receiver operator characteristic curve analysis revealed promising diagnostic performance for miR-484 in discriminating late fibrosis from both mild fibrosis and HCC and also for miR-524 in distinguishing between cirrhosis and fibrosis. In conclusion, investigated miRNAs could serve as potential and sensitive biomarkers for staging, prognosis and early diagnosis of various HCV mediated hepatic disease progression.

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