Plasma levels of microRNA-24, microRNA-320a, and microRNA-423-5p are potential biomarkers for colorectal carcinoma

Zanxi Fang, Jing Tang, Yongying Bai, Huayue Lin, Hanyu You, Hongwei Jin, Lingqing Lin, Pan You, Juan Li, Zhang Dai, Xianming Liang, Yuanhui Su, Qing Hu, Fen Wang, Zhong Ying Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Background: MicroRNAs are stable and easy to detect in plasma. The plasma levels of microRNAs are often changed in disease conditions, including cancer. This makes circulating microRNAs a novel class of biomarkers for cancer diagnosis. Analyses of online microRNA data base revealed that expression level of three microRNAs, microRNA-24 (miR-24), microRNA-320a (miR-320a), and microRNA-423-5p (miR-423-5p) were down-regulated in colorectal cancer (CRC). However, whether the plasma level of these three microRNAs can serve as biomarkers for CRC diagnosis and prognosis is not determined. Methods: Plasma samples from 223 patients with colorectal related diseases (111 cancer carcinoma, 59 adenoma, 24 colorectal polyps and 29 inflammatory bowel disease) and 130 healthy controls were collected and subjected to reverse transcription-quantitative real time PCR (RT-qPCR) analyses for the three microRNAs. In addition, plasma samples from 43 patients were collected before and after surgical treatment for the same RT-qPCR analyses. Results: The concentrations of plasma miR-24, miR-320a and miR-423-5p were all decreased in patients with CRC and benign lesions (polyps and adenoma) compared with healthy controls, but increased in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The sensitivity of miR-24, miR-320a and miR-423-5p for early stage of CRC were 77.78 %, 90.74 %, and 88.89 %, respectively. Moreover, the plasma concentration of the three microRNAs was increased in patients after the surgery who had clinical improvement. Conclusions: The plasma levels of miR-24, miR-320a, and miR-423-5p have promising potential to serve as novel biomarkers for CRC detection, especially for early stage of CRC, which are superior to the currently used clinical biomarkers for CRC detection, such as CEA and CA19-9. Further efforts to develop the three microRNAs as biomarkers for early CRC diagnosis and prediction of surgical treatment outcomes are warrant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number86
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 22 2015


  • Biomarker
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diagnosis
  • Plasma
  • microRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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