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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Sep 14;107(37):16228-33. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1009719107. Epub 2010 Aug 30.

Identification of differential and functionally active miRNAs in both anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)+ and ALK- anaplastic large-cell lymphoma.

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Laboratory for Immunological and Molecular Cancer Research, Third Medical Department with Hematology, Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria.


Aberrant anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) expression is a defining feature of many human cancers and was identified first in anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL), an aggressive non-Hodgkin T-cell lymphoma. Since that time, many studies have set out to identify the mechanisms used by aberrant ALK toward tumorigenesis. We have identified a distinct profile of micro-RNAs (miRNAs) that characterize ALCL; furthermore, this profile distinguishes ALK(+) from ALK(-) subtypes, and thus points toward potential mechanisms of tumorigenesis induced by aberrant ALK. Using a nucleophosmin-ALK transgenic mouse model as well as human primary ALCL tumor tissues and human ALCL-derived cell lines, we reveal a set of overlapping deregulated miRNAs that might be implicated in the development and progression of ALCL. Importantly, ALK(+) and ALK(-) ALCL could be distinguished by a distinct profile of "oncomirs": Five members of the miR-17-92 cluster were expressed more highly in ALK(+) ALCL, whereas miR-155 was expressed more than 10-fold higher in ALK(-) ALCL. Moreover, miR-101 was down-regulated in all ALCL model systems, but its forced expression attenuated cell proliferation only in ALK(+) and not in ALK(-) cell lines, perhaps suggesting different modes of ALK-dependent regulation of its target proteins. Furthermore, inhibition of mTOR, which is targeted by miR-101, led to reduced tumor growth in engrafted ALCL mouse models. In addition to future therapeutical and diagnostic applications, it will be of interest to study the physiological implications and prognostic value of the identified miRNA profiles.

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