Research Paper Volume 11, Issue 20 pp 8998—9012

TIMP1 mRNA in tumor-educated platelets is diagnostic biomarker for colorectal cancer

Liu Yang1, , Qian Jiang1, , Dong-Zheng Li1, , Xin Zhou1, , Dong-Sheng Yu1, , Jian Zhong1, ,

  • 1 Department of Colorectal Surgery, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital and Jiangsu Institute of Cancer Research and The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China

Received: July 23, 2019       Accepted: October 7, 2019       Published: October 22, 2019
How to Cite

Copyright © 2019 Yang et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Platelets have been shown to promote the growth of tumors, including colorectal cancer. The RNA profile of tumor-educated platelets has the possibility for cancer diagnosis. We used RNA sequencing to identified the gene expression signature in platelets from colorectal cancer patients and healthy volunteers. We then verified the selected biomarkers from the RNA sequencing in a two-step case-control study using quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. We found that TIMP1 mRNA levels are higher in platelets from colorectal cancer patients than in platelets from healthy volunteers and patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Additionally, TIMP1 mRNA expressed in platelets from colorectal cancer patients can be carried into colorectal cancer cells, where it promotes tumor growth in vivo and in vitro. These findings show that the TIMP1 mRNA in platelets is a potential independent diagnostic biomarker for colorectal cancer, and that platelets can carry RNAs into colorectal cancer cells to promote colorectal cancer development.


CRC: colorectal cancer; TEP: Tumor educated platelet; R-qPCR: quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction; ctDNA: circulating free DNA; CTC: circulating tumor cells; ME: moduleEigengenes; GS: gene significance; DEGs: different expression genes; CEA: carcinoembryonic antigen; CA199: carbohydrate antigen 199; ROC curve: AUC; MMPs: matrix metalloproteinases.