Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks involved in the development and progression of various cancers, including muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC).

This study aims to construct the lncRNA-associated ceRNA network and identify lncRNA signatures correlated with the clinical features of MIBC tissue samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TGCA) database.

The differential expression profiles of MIBC associated lncRNAs, miRNAs and mRNAs were obtained from TCGA. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analyses were performed to determine the principal functions of significantly dysregulated mRNAs. The dysregulated lncRNA-associated ceRNA network of MIBC was constructed based on the bioinformatics data, and the correlations between lncRNA expression and clinical features were analyzed using a weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA). Six cancer specific lncRNAs from the ceRNA network were randomly selected to detect their expression in 32 paired MIBC tissue samples and 5 bladder cancer cell lines using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).

The ceRNA network was constructed with 30 lncRNAs, 13 miRNAs and 32 mRNAs. Seventeen lncRNAs in the ceRNA network correlated with certain clinical features, and only 1 lncRNA (MIR137HG) correlated with the overall survival (OS) of patients with MIBC (log-rank test P<0.05). GO and KEGG analyses revealed roles for the potential mRNA targets of MIR137HG in epithelial cell differentiation and the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signaling pathways. The expression data from TCGA were highly consistent with the verification results of the MIBC tissue samples and bladder cancer cell lines.

These findings improve our understanding of the regulatory mechanism of the lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA ceRNA network and reveal potential lncRNAs as prognostic biomarkers of MIBC.

Cancer management and research. 2019 Jul 04*** epublish ***

Lei Lyu, Wei Xiang, Jin-Yan Zhu, Tao Huang, Jing-Dong Yuan, Chuan-Hua Zhang

Department of Urology, Wuhan No. 1 Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China.