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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7450461, 10 pages
Research Article

MicroRNA Profiling in Patients with Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma Associated with Balkan Endemic Nephropathy

1Research Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology “Georgi D. Efremov”, Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia
2Institute of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Nis, 18000 Nis, Serbia
3Clinic of Nephrology, Medical Faculty, University of Nis, 18000 Nis, Serbia
4Department of Clinical Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Nis, 18000 Nis, Serbia
5Department of Medical Genetics, Medical University of Sofia, 1431 Sofia, Bulgaria

Received 25 December 2015; Revised 2 March 2016; Accepted 4 April 2016

Academic Editor: Charles H. Lawrie

Copyright © 2016 Katerina Popovska-Jankovic et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN) is a disease that affects people that live in the alluvial plains along the tributaries of the Danube River in the Balkan region. BEN is a chronic tubulointerstitial disease with a slow progression to terminal renal failure and has strong association with upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC). There are several hypotheses about the etiology of BEN, but only the toxic effect of aristolochic acid has been confirmed as a risk factor in the occurrence of the disease. Aberrantly expressed miRNAs have been shown to be associated with many types of cancers. A number of studies have investigated the expression of microRNAs in urothelial carcinoma, mainly on urothelial bladder cancer, and only a few have included patients with UTUC. Here we present the first study of microRNA profiling in UTUC tissues from patients with BEN (BEN-UTUC) and patients with UTUC from nonendemic Balkan regions (non-BEN-UTUC) in comparison to normal kidney tissues. We found 10 miRNAs that were differentially expressed in patients with BEN-UTUC and 15 miRNAs in patients with non-BEN-UTUC. miRNA signature determined in BEN-UTUC patients differs from the non-BEN-UTUC patients; only miR-205-5p was mutual in both groups.