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      MicroRNA Expression and Identification of Putative miRNA Targets in Ovarian Cancer

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          Abstract

          Background

          MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a class of small non-coding RNAs that control gene expression by targeting mRNAs and triggering either translation repression or RNA degradation. Emerging evidence suggests the potential involvement of altered regulation of miRNA in the pathogenesis of cancers, and these genes are thought to function as both tumor suppressors and oncogenes.

          Methodology/Principal Findings

          Using microRNA microarrays, we identify several miRNAs aberrantly expressed in human ovarian cancer tissues and cell lines. miR-221 stands out as a highly elevated miRNA in ovarian cancer, while miR-21 and several members of the let-7 family are found downregulated. Public databases were used to reveal potential targets for the highly differentially expressed miRNAs. In order to experimentally identify transcripts whose stability may be affected by the differentially expressed miRNAs, we transfected precursor miRNAs into human cancer cell lines and used oligonucleotide microarrays to examine changes in the mRNA levels. Interestingly, there was little overlap between the predicted and the experimental targets or pathways, or between experimental targets/pathways obtained using different cell lines, highlighting the complexity of miRNA target selection.

          Conclusion/Significance

          Our results identify several differentially expressed miRNAs in ovarian cancer and identify potential target transcripts that may be regulated by these miRNAs. These miRNAs and their targets may have important roles in the initiation and development of ovarian cancer.

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          Most cited references 27

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          An abundant class of tiny RNAs with probable regulatory roles in Caenorhabditis elegans.

          Two small temporal RNAs (stRNAs), lin-4 and let-7, control developmental timing in Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that these two regulatory RNAs are members of a large class of 21- to 24-nucleotide noncoding RNAs, called microRNAs (miRNAs). We report on 55 previously unknown miRNAs in C. elegans. The miRNAs have diverse expression patterns during development: a let-7 paralog is temporally coexpressed with let-7; miRNAs encoded in a single genomic cluster are coexpressed during embryogenesis; and still other miRNAs are expressed constitutively throughout development. Potential orthologs of several of these miRNA genes were identified in Drosophila and human genomes. The abundance of these tiny RNAs, their expression patterns, and their evolutionary conservation imply that, as a class, miRNAs have broad regulatory functions in animals.
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            miR-21-mediated tumor growth.

             Anna H. Wu,  L Si,  S Zhu (2007)
            MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are approximately 22 nucleotide non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. Although aberrant expression of miRNAs in various human cancers suggests a role for miRNAs in tumorigenesis, it remains largely unclear as to whether knockdown of a specific miRNA affects tumor growth. In this study, we profiled miRNA expression in matched normal breast tissue and breast tumor tissues by TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction miRNA array methods. Consistent with previous findings, we found that miR-21 was highly overexpressed in breast tumors compared to the matched normal breast tissues among 157 human miRNAs analysed. To better evaluate the role of miR-21 in tumorigenesis, we transfected breast cancer MCF-7 cells with anti-miR-21 oligonucleotides and found that anti-miR-21 suppressed both cell growth in vitro and tumor growth in the xenograft mouse model. Furthermore, this anti-miR-21-mediated cell growth inhibition was associated with increased apoptosis and decreased cell proliferation, which could be in part owing to downregulation of the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 in anti-miR-21-treated tumor cells. Together, these results suggest that miR-21 functions as an oncogene and modulates tumorigenesis through regulation of genes such as bcl-2 and thus, it may serve as a novel therapeutic target.
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              Reduced accumulation of specific microRNAs in colorectal neoplasia.

              Short non-coding RNAs are known to regulate cellular processes including development, heterochromatin formation, and genomic stability in eukaryotes. Given the impact of these processes on cellular identity, a study was undertaken to investigate possible changes in microRNA (miRNA) levels during tumorigenesis. A total of 28 different miRNA sequences was identified in a colonic adenocarcinoma and normal mucosa, including 3 novel sequences and a further 7 that had previously been cloned only from mice. Human homologues of murine miRNA sequences, miR-143 and miR-145, consistently display reduced steady-state levels of the mature miRNA at the adenomatous and cancer stages of colorectal neoplasia.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2008
                18 June 2008
                : 3
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                [2 ]Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                [3 ]Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo, Norway
                [4 ]Research Resource Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Germany
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: PM ND. Performed the experiments: WW ND CS. Analyzed the data: KB WW PM ND YZ. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: KB WW PM TW BD IS. Wrote the paper: PM ND.

                Article
                08-PONE-RA-03206R1
                10.1371/journal.pone.0002436
                2410296
                18560586
                901700b8-322f-41be-8ef6-ec065ad0743f
                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Public Domain declaration which stipulates that, once placed in the public domain, this work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose.
                Page count
                Pages: 11
                Categories
                Research Article
                Genetics and Genomics/Gene Expression
                Genetics and Genomics/Genomics
                Oncology/Gynecological Cancers

                Uncategorized

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