Differential expression of miRNA provides important insights into pathogenesis of cancer including leukemia. Deregulation of microRNA may contribute to hematopoietic malignancies. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the role of miR-181a and miR-196b in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and correlate their expression with clinical and laboratory data.
The study was performed on bone marrow samples of 70 consecutive newly diagnosed pediatric (ALL) patients, of which 56 were evaluated for both miR-181a and miR-196b (all 70 for miR-181a) by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). In addition, bone marrow from seven age and sex matched healthy controls derived from donors of bone marrow transplantation were assessed.
miR-181a expression was significantly up-regulated in ALL patients compared with healthy controls (p <0.001). However, miR-196b expression was significantly down-regulated in patients compared with healthy controls (p=0.038).
Our results suggest that miR-181a has an oncogenic, while miR-196b has a tumor suppressive role in pediatric ALL patients. A finding which demonstrate the potential role of these microRNAs in pathogenesis of pediatric ALL. Also, estimation of their expression level may provide a tool for confirmation of a diagnosis of childhood ALL and could be a possible predictor of early relapse.