microRNA expression profiling of nasopharyngeal carcinoma

State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Institute of Genetics, School of Life Science, Fudan University, Shanghai, PR China.
Oncology Reports (Impact Factor: 2.19). 03/2011; 25(5):1353-63. DOI: 10.3892/or.2011.1204
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is posing a serious health problem worldwide. The association between its pathogenesis and microRNAs (miRNA) has not been elucidated. In this study, miRNA expression profiling was performed to screen the miRNA expression changes in 8 NPC tissues and 4 normal nasopharyngeal tissues. Thirty-four miRNAs were identified to be differentially expressed; of these, one miRNA (miR-18a) was overexpressed and 33 miRNAs (miR-34b, miR-34c, let-7 family, etc.) were underexpressed in NPC tissues compared to the normal samples. Validation was performed by real-time quantitative PCR for two altered miRNAs (miR-34b and let-7g) and one non-differentially expressed miRNA (miR-30c). Unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis showed that the aberrant miRNAs were correlated with the clinical stage of NPC patients. In addition to several biological pathways that are well characterised in NPC and which were significantly targeted by the underexpressed miRNAs, two novel pathways, nervous system development and sensory perception of sound, were identified to be strongly associated with NPC development. Furthermore, a c-Myc centered miRNA regulatory network was inferred in NPC. Our study reveals that aberrantly expressed miRNAs play important roles in NPC tumorigenesis and may serve as potential targets for novel therapeutic strategies in the future.

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