MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short single-stranded RNAs that have a potentially important role in gene regulation. That role is due to complementarity mediated binding to target mRNAs resulting in the repression of translation and in the cleavage of the target transcript. There are indications that miRNAs might be a new class of genes involved in human tumorigenesis.Using a novel quantitative real-time PCR assay, specific to the mature product, the expression level of a selected group of miRNAs was measured across a set of 30 primary adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with a normal karyotype. Calculation of the correlation between miRNA levels and the genome-wide AML expression profile identified distinct patterns of miRNA expression that correlate with the AML signature.

In addition, the genes whose expression was most significantly associated with each miRNA were identified. This is the first study reporting a quantitative measurement of mature miRNA expression and the computational discovery of genome-wide associations in primary malignancies.

Authors: Silvana Debernardi, Spyros Skoulakis, Gael Molloy, Bryan D. Young

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