Alteration of microRNAs regulated by c-Myc in Burkitt Lymphoma

Anna Onnis, Giulia de Falco, Giuseppina Antonicelli, Monica Onorati, Cristiana Bellan, Omar Sherman, Shaheen Sayed, Lorenzo Leoncini

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67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is an aggressive B-cell lymphoma, with a characteristic clinical presentation, morphology and immunophenotype. Over the past years, the typical translocation t(8;14) and its variants have been considered the molecular hallmark of this tumor. However, BL cases with no detectable MYC rearrangement have been identified. Intriguingly, these cases express MYC at levels comparable with cases carrying the translocation. In normal cells c-Myc expression is tightly regulated through a complex feedback loop mechanism. In cancer, MYC is often dysregulated, commonly due to genomic abnormalities. It has recently emerged that this phenomenon may rely on an alteration of post-transcriptional regulation mediated by microRNAs (miRNAs), whose functional alterations are associated with neoplastic transformation. It is also emerging that c-Myc modulates miRNA expression, revealing an intriguing crosstalk between c-Myc and miRNAs. Principal Findings: Here, we investigated the expression of miRNAs possibly regulated by c-Myc in BL cases positive or negative for the translocation. A common trend of miRNA expression, with the exception of hsa-miR-9, was observed in all of the cases. Intriguingly, down-regulation of this miRNA seems to specifically identify a particular subset of BL cases, lacking MYC translocation. Here, we provided evidence that hsa-miR-9-1 gene is heavily methylated in those cases. Finally, we showed that hsa-miR-9 is able to modulate E2F1 and c-Myc expression. Conclusions: Particularly, this study identifies hsa-miR-9 as potentially relevant for malignant transformation in BL cases with no detectable MYC translocation. Deregulation of hsa-miR-9 may therefore be useful as a diagnostic tool, suggesting it as a promising novel candidate for tumor cell marker.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12960
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume5
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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