Characterization of hepatocellular adenoma and carcinoma using microRNA profiling and targeted gene sequencing

Jian Zheng, Eran Sadot, Joana A. Vigidal, David S. Klimstra, Vinod P. Balachandran, T. Peter Kingham, Peter J. Allen, Michael I. D’Angelica, Ronald P. DeMatteo, William R. Jarnagin*, Andrea Ventura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Hepatocellular adenomas (HCA) are benign liver tumors that may transform into hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but the molecular drivers of this transformation remain ill-defined. This study evaluates the molecular changes in HCA and HCC and in comparison to their adjacent non-neoplastic liver. Methods 11 patients with HCA and 10 patients with HCC without underlying hepatitis or cirrhosis were included in this pilot study. Tumor and non-tumor liver tissues were selected for immunohistochemical staining, small RNA sequencing, and targeted gene sequencing. We compared microRNA expressions and mutations between HCA and HCC and non-neoplastic liver. Results HCA were classified as inflammatory (n = 6), steatotic (n = 4), or β-catenin activated (n = 1) subtypes. MicroRNA profile of all 3 HCA subtypes clustered between that of normal liver and HCC in principal component analysis. In both HCA and HCC, miR-200a, miR-429, and miR-490-3p were significantly downregulated compared to normal liver, whereas miR-452, miR-766, and miR-1180 were significantly upregulated. In addition, compared to HCA, HCC had significantly higher expression of members of the chromosome 19 miRNA cluster (C19MC), including miR-515-5p, miR-517a, miR-518b, and miR-520c-3p. Conclusions This study indicates that while there are significant differences in the molecular profile between HCA and HCC, several miRNAs are similarly deregulated in HCA and HCC compared to adjacent normal liver. These results may provide insights into the drivers of hepato-carcinogenesis and warrant further investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0200776
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of hepatocellular adenoma and carcinoma using microRNA profiling and targeted gene sequencing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this