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DNA Cell Biol. 2010 Sep;29(9):553-61. doi: 10.1089/dna.2009.0978.

Radiation-induced micro-RNA modulation in glioblastoma cells differing in DNA-repair pathways.

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  • 1Department of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences, University of Vermont , Burlington, Vermont, USA.


Human glioblastomas often develop resistance to radiation therapy. The molecular details of this phenomenon are not completely understood. Recent studies have suggested that deficiency in DNA repair pathways may alter the resistance to ionizing radiation in gliobastomas. The human glioma cell line M059J is deficient in DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), whereas cell line M059K, isolated from the same malignant tumor, has normal DNA-PK activity. DNA-PK plays a central role in the repair of ionizing-radiation-induced double-strand break repair, and its deficiency has been correlated with ionizing radiation sensitivity in these glioblastoma cells. We argued that other cellular pathways could also play a role in the resistance to radiation therapy in gliomas. We hypothesized that micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are differentially modulated in M059J and M059K cells exposed to ionizing radiation and that the miRNA modulation contributes to the resistance to ionizing radiation. miRNAs are small nonprotein coding single-stranded RNA molecules, which are crucial posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression. Numerous studies have documented the participation of miRNAs in a wide range of biological processes. The contribution of miRNAs in mediating resistance of glioblastoma cell to ionizing radiation treatment has not been elucidated. To test this hypothesis, we examined the expression patterns of a number of miRNAs involved in carcinogenesis in irradiated M059J and M059K cells. The relative expression level as determined by real-time quantitative PCR for miRNAs belonging to the let-7 family indicated an upregulation in irradiated M059K cells. On the contrary, the analysis of irradiated M059J cells for the modulation of let-7 family of miRNAs revealed an overall downregulation. The miR-17-3p, miR-17-5p, miR-19a, miR-19b, miR-142-3p, and miR-142-5p were upregulated in both M059K and M059J cells. The miR-15a, miR-16, miR-143, miR-155, and miR-21 were upregulated in M059K, and the modulation of these miRNAs fluctuated in M059J cells in a time-dependent manner. These results indicate the involvement of miRNAs in the differential response of glioblastoma cells to ionizing radiation treatment.

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