Circulating MicroRNAs as markers for malignant pleural mesothelioma
SUMMARY OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT
FUNDED BY THE BUZZI UNICEM FOUNDATION
Prof. Mauro Tognon
CONSORZIO FUTURO IN RICERCA - Via Saragat 1 44122 FERRARA
UNIVERSITÀ’ DEGLI STUDI DI FERRARA – DEPARTMENT OF MORPHOLOGY, SURGERY AND EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE, Section of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Biology, Laboratory of Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics
The identification of new and specific markers for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma are of crucial importance for early diagnosis and treatment of MPM.
For several years, we have been evaluating the role of genetic susceptibility in the development of MM. We designed an association study of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in individuals with MM and controls.
In recent years, the expression of microRNAs has been found to be deregulated in cells and serums of patients affected by tumours of different histotype, including MPM. The microRNAs of the cells and circulating in the serum, found to be deregulated in MPM, have been proposed as new biomarkers. In fact, several studies have demonstrated that circulating microRNAs are stable molecules in biological fluids, therefore they can be used as potential biomarkers of MPM.
In a recent comparative study, we have identified three circulating microRNAs in the serum of patients affected by MPM, called miR- 197-3p, miR-1281 and miR-32-3p, expressed differently compared to the serum of workers previously exposed to asbestos fibres and of healthy subjects. The analyses on these three circulating microRNAs will be conducted for the most part through the following techniques: Real-Time-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR).
The expected results should confirm the stable endogenous microRNAs, identified as miR-1234-3p, miR-3656 and miR-3665, to be used as a control for quantifying in our analyses the three deregulated circulating microRNAs to be used as markers for early onset of MPM. The qualitative and quantitative expression data of the selected microRNAs will allow us to identify whether or not the microRNAs expressed in a distinct manner are super- expressed or not in the serum of patients affected by MPM. The comparative analysis will be carried out using MPM serum samples of workers previously exposed to asbestos and of healthy individuals.
This study will make it possible to verify whether or not the three identified microRNAs super-expressed in MPM may be used as new potential biomarkers of the early onset of the tumour through an analysis of the serum.