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Comparative analysis of melanoma deregulated miRNAs in the medaka and Xiphophorus pigment cell cancer models

Mishra, Rasmi R., Kneitz, Susanne, Schartl, Manfred
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C 2014 v.163 pp. 64-76
Oryzias latipes, Xiphophorus, fish, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, genetic background, genetically modified organisms, humans, melanoma, microRNA, models, non-specific protein-tyrosine kinase, skin neoplasms
Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer, with an almost 100% development of resistance to current therapeutic approaches at progression stages. The incidence of melanoma is steadily increasing worldwide. Although many details leading to the development of malignant melanoma are known, the complex process of melanomagenesis is poorly understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding-RNAs of ~22nt length that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. It is now well established that deregulated miRNA expression is seen in many cancers including melanoma. To further study the miRNA functions in melanoma formation and progression we use a transgenic melanoma model in Japanese ricefish (medaka; Oryzias latipes) and the natural Xiphophorus melanoma model. In these fishes, dependent on the genetic background various histo- and patho-types of tumors appear, comparable to human melanoma types. We have studied expression profiles of ten known human melanoma-associated miRNAs and their respective target gene expression in the fish melanoma models. We show that miRNAs of the miR-17–92 cluster (miR-20a2, miR-92a1, miR-17 and miR-18a), miR-126, miR-182, miR-210 and miR-214 are upregulated and their respective target genes (RUNX1, HIF1A, TGFBR2, THBS1 and JAK2) are down-regulated in melanoma. MicroRNA-125b is down-regulated and the target genes (ERBB3a and ERBB3b) are upregulated in fish melanomas. Results provide clear evidence that the fish melanoma-associated miRNAs and respective target genes are deregulated generally like in human melanoma. Our results confirm the value of fish; such as medaka and Xiphophorus as good model systems to identify and decipher molecular mechanisms associated with malignant melanoma.