Article

Computational analysis of microRNA profiles and their target genes suggests significant involvement in breast cancer antiestrogen resistance.

School of Informatics, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.
Bioinformatics (Impact Factor: 4.62). 01/2009; 25(4):430-4. DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btn646
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT MOTIVATION: Recent evidence shows significant involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the initiation and progression of numerous cancers; however, the role of these in tumor drug resistance remains unknown. RESULTS: By comparing global miRNA and mRNA expression patterns, we examined the role of miRNAs in resistance to the 'pure antiestrogen' fulvestrant, using fulvestrant-resistant MCF7-FR cells and their drug-sensitive parental estrogen receptor (ER)-positive MCF7 cells. We identified 14 miRNAs downregulated in MCF7-FR cells and then used both TargetScan and PITA to predict potential target genes. We found a negative correlation between expression of these miRNAs and their predicted target mRNA transcripts. In genes regulated by multiple miRNAs or having multiple miRNA-targeting sites, an even stronger negative correlation was found. Pathway analyses predicted these miRNAs to regulate specific cancer-associated signal cascades. These results suggest a significant role for miRNA-regulated gene expression in the onset of breast cancer antiestrogen resistance, and an improved understanding of this phenomenon could lead to better therapies for this often fatal condition.

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