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PLoS One. 2019 Mar 20;14(3):e0213078. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213078. eCollection 2019.

Differential expression of miRNAs in acute myeloid leukemia quantified by Nextgen sequencing of whole blood samples.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, United States of America.
2
Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, United States of America.
3
Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, United States of America.

Abstract

New approaches are needed for understanding and treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML). MicroRNAs (miRs) are important regulators of gene expression in all cells and disruption of their normal expression can lead to changes in phenotype of a cell, in particular the emergence of a leukemic clone. We collected peripheral blood samples from 10 adult patients with newly diagnosed AML, prior to induction chemotherapy, and 9 controls. Two and a half ml of whole blood was collected in Paxgene RNA tubes. MiRNA was purified using RNeasy mini column (Qiagen). We sequenced approximately 1000 miRs from each of 10 AML patients and 9 controls. In subset analysis, patients with NPM1 and FLT3 mutations showed the greatest number of miRNAs (63) with expression levels that differed from control with adjusted p-value of 0.05 or less. Some of these miRs have been described previously in association with leukemia, but many are new. Our approach of global sequencing of miRs as opposed to microarray analysis removes the bias regarding which miRs to assay and has demonstrated discovery of new associations of miRs with AML. Another strength of our approach is that sequencing miRs is specific for the 5p or 3p strand of the gene, greatly narrowing the proposed target genes to study further. Our study provides new information about the molecular changes that lead to evolution of the leukemic clone and offers new possibilities for monitoring relapse and developing new treatment strategies.

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