J Biotechnol 2019 Jun 16;298:76-81. Epub 2019 Apr 16.
Department of Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary.
Ovarian tumor is one of the leading causes of cancer among women. Patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage, usually. There is a need for new specific and sensitive biomarkers. Mitochondrial DNA copy number change was observed in various cancers. Our aim was to detect mitochondrial DNA copy number in whole blood (wb-mtDNA) and in plasma (cell-free and exosome encapsulated mtDNA) in patients with serous epithelial ovarian tumor. DNA was isolated from EDTA blood and plasma obtained from 24 patients and 24 healthy controls. Exosomes were isolated from cell-free plasma, and exosome encapsulated DNA (exoDNA) was extracted. Quantitative-real-time PCR was performed with Human Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Monitoring Primer Set. Kruskall‑Wallis and Mann‑Whitney U test were used for data analysis. Wb-mtDNA copy number was significantly different among healthy controls and patients in multiple comparison (p = 0.0090 considering FIGO stage independently, and p = 0.0048 considering early- and late-stage cancers). There was a significant decrease among early-stage, all advanced stage and all cancer patients (FIGO I: 32.5 ± 8.3, p = 0.0061; FIGO III + IV: 37.2 ± 13.7 p = 0.0139; FIGO I + III + IV: 35.6 ± 12.2, p = 0.0017) or FIGO III patients alone (32.8 ± 5.6, p = 0.00089) compared to healthy controls. We found significant increase in copy number in exosomal mtDNA in cancer patients (236.0 ± 499.0, p = 0.0155), advanced-stage cancer patients (333.0 ± 575.0, p = 0.0095), of FIGO III (362.0 ± 609.2, p = 0.0494), and FIGO IV (304.0 ± 585.0, p = 0.0393) patients alone but not in samples of FIGO I patients (10.0 ± 3.5, p = 0.3907). In multiple comparison the increase was significant considering early- and late-stage cancers (p = 0.0253). Cell-free mtDNA copy numbers were not increased significantly. We found the highest copy number of mtDNA in exosomes, followed by plasma and peripheral blood in late-stage cancer patients. We observed significant difference in wb-mtDNA copy number between healthy controls and both early- and late-stage cancer patients.