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Margaret Mead
Research Article

The mRNA related ceRNA–ceRNA landscape and significance across 20 major cancer types


Cross-talk between competitive endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) through shared miRNAs represents a novel layer of gene regulation that plays important roles in the physiology and development of cancers. However, a global view of their system-level properties across various types of cancers is still unknown. Here, we constructed the mRNA related ceRNA–ceRNA interaction landscape across 20 cancer types by systematically analyzing molecular profiles of 5203 tumors and miRNA regulations. Our study highlights the conserved features shared by pan-cancer and higher similarity within similar origin cell type. Moreover, a core ceRNA network was identified. Function analysis identified a common theme of cancer hallmarks, however they exhibit phenotype-specific connectivity patterns. Besides, we found a marked rewiring in the ceRNA program between various cancers, and further revealed conserved and rewired network ceRNA hubs in each cancer, which were tensely competitive interactions to constitute conserved and cancer-specific modules. By providing mechanistic linkage between known cancer miRNAs, their mediated ceRNA–ceRNA interactions, and the associations with known cancer hallmarks, the inferred cancer ceRNA–ceRNA interaction landscape will serve as a powerful public resource for further biological discoveries of tumorigenesis.