Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2018. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Jan 7, 2018; 24(1): 23-34
Published online Jan 7, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i1.23
Construction of an oesophageal cancer-specific ceRNA network based on miRNA, lncRNA, and mRNA expression data
Wen-Hua Xue, Zhi-Rui Fan, Li-Feng Li, Jing-Li Lu, Bing-Jun Ma, Quan-Cheng Kan, Jie Zhao
Wen-Hua Xue, Jing-Li Lu, Bing-Jun Ma, Quan-Cheng Kan, Jie Zhao, Department of Pharmacy, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan Province, China
Zhi-Rui Fan, Li-Feng Li, Cancer Centre, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan Province, China
Author contributions: Kan QC and Zhao J designed and coordinated the research; Xue WH drafted the manuscript; Fan ZR, Li LF, and Lu JL analysed the data; Ma BJ provided substantial contributions to conception of the manuscript, helped draft the article, and made critical revisions related to important intellectual content of the manuscript.
Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 31670895 and No. 71673254.
Institutional review board statement: The study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Review Board of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest in the present study.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Jie Zhao, PhD, Professor, Department of Pharmacy, Engineering Laboratory for Digital Telemedicine Service, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, No. 1, Jianshe Road, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan Province, China.
Telephone: +86-371-66913007 Fax: +86-371-66913335
Received: September 13, 2017
Peer-review started: September 13, 2017
First decision: October 24, 2017
Revised: November 7, 2017
Accepted: November 27, 2017
Article in press: November 27, 2017
Published online: January 7, 2018

To explore the expression profiles of microRNAs (miRNAs), long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and mRNAs in oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in order to construct an oesophageal cancer-specific competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) network.


In this work, the expression data of miRNAs, lncRNAs, and mRNAs in ESCC were obtained. An oesophageal cancer-specific ceRNA network was then constructed and investigated.


CeRNAs have the ability to reduce the targeting activity of miRNAs, leading to the de-repression of specific mRNAs with common miRNA response elements. CeRNA interactions have a critical effect in gene regulation and cancer development.


This study suggests a novel perspective on potential oesophageal cancer mechanisms as well as novel pathways for modulating ceRNA networks for treating cancers.

Keywords: Competing endogenous RNA, MicroRNA, Long non-coding RNA, mRNA, Oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Core tip: Competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) may play a critical role in tumourigenesis, and perturbations to ceRNA networks would result in the progression of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). However, the role of ceRNAs in ESCC has not been comprehensively explored. This study was designed to investigate the expression profiles of microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and mRNAs in ESCC to elucidate an oesophageal cancer-specific ceRNA network. Our report reveals potential molecular mechanisms of oesophageal cancer progression and suggests a novel approach to cancer therapeutics in the regulation of ceRNA networks.