MicroRNAs are small (~22 nt), noncoding RNA molecules that have critical cellular functions in proliferation, differentiation, angiogenesis and apoptosis. miRNA expression profiling has been used to create signatures of solid tumors and, in many cases, it has been shown to correlate with the severity of the disease. The rabbit VX2 tumor model has been used widely to study a number of human cancers. Our objective in this study is to generate an miRNA signature of the VX2 tumor and to identify miRNAs that are highly expressed in this aggressive tumor. In this study, we performed miRNA profiling of the rabbit VX2 tumor using a microarray that has probes for 1292 unique miRNAs. Their expression in tumor samples was quantified and analyzed. We found that 35 miRNAs were significantly up-regulated in the VX2 tumor. Among these, 13 human miRNAs and eight members of the let-7
family were previously identified in cancers. In addition, we show that the expression of three miRNAs (miR-923, miR-1275, and miR-1308) is novel for the rabbit VX2 tumor, and their expression was not previously shown to be associated with any type of cancer. For the first time, we show the miRNA signature profile for a solid tumor in a rabbit model. miRNAs highly expressed in the VX2 tumor may serve as novel candidates for molecular biomarkers and as potential drug targets.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited