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Co-staining of microRNAs and their target proteins by miRNA in situ hybridization and immunohistofluorescence on prostate cancer tissue microarrays

: Eckstein, M.; Sailer, V.; Schnack Nielsen, B.; Wittenberg, T.; Wiesmann, V.; Lieb, V.; Nolte, E.; Hartmann, A.; Kristiansen, G.; Wernert, N.; Wullich, B.; Taubert, H.; Wach, S.


Laboratory investigation 99 (2019), No.10, pp.1527-1534
ISSN: 1530-0307
ISSN: 0023-6837
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IIS ()

The co-expression of miRNAs and their target proteins was studied on tissue microarrays from different prostate cancer (PCa) patients. PCa of primary Gleason pattern 4 (GP4), lymph node metastases of GP4, distant metastases, and normal tissue from the transitional and peripheral zones were co-stained by fluorescent miRNA in situ hybridization (miRisH) and protein immunohistofluorescence (IHF). The miRNAs and corresponding target proteins include the pairs miR-145/ERG, miR-143/uPAR, and miR-375/SEC23A. The fluorescence-stained and scanned tissue microarrays (TMAs) were evaluated by experienced uropathologists. The pair miR-145/ERG showed an exclusive staining for miR-145 in the nuclei of stromal cells, both in tumor and normal tissue, and for ERG in the cytoplasm with/without co-expression in the nucleus of tumor cells. The pair miR-143/uPAR revealed a clear distinction between miR-143 in the nuclei of stromal cells and uPAR staining in the cytoplasm of tumor cells. Meta stases (lymph node and distant) however, showed tumor cells with cytoplasmic staining for miR-143/uPAR. In normal tissues, beside the nuclei of the stroma cells, gland cells could also express miR-143 and uPAR in the cytoplasm. miR-375 showed particular staining in the nucleoli of GP4 and metastatic samples, suggesting that nucleoli play a special role in sequestering proteins and miRNAs. Combined miRisH/IHF allows for the study of miRNA expression patterns and their target proteins at the single-cell level.