Cutaneous melanoma (CM) is the most lethal tumor among skin cancers, and its incidence is constantly increasing. A deeper understanding of the molecular processes guiding melanoma pathogenesis could improve diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. MicroRNAs play a key role in melanoma biology. Recently, next generation sequencing (NGS) experiments, designed to assess small-RNA expression, revealed the existence of microRNA variants with different length and sequence. These microRNA isoforms are known as isomiRs and provide an additional layer to the complex non-coding RNA world. Here, we collected data from NGS experiments to provide a comprehensive characterization of miRNA and isomiR dysregulation in benign nevi (BN) and early-stage melanomas. We observed that melanoma and BN express different and specific isomiRs and have a different isomiR abundance distribution. Moreover, isomiRs from the same microRNA can have opposite expression trends between groups. Using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset of skin cancers, we analyzed isomiR expression in primary melanoma and melanoma metastasis and tested their association with NF1, BRAF and NRAS mutations. IsomiRs differentially expressed were identified and catalogued with reference to the canonical form. The reported non-random dysregulation of specific isomiRs contributes to the understanding of the complex melanoma pathogenesis and serves as the basis for further functional studies.
Broseghini, Elisabetta; Dika, Emi; Londin, Eric; and Ferracin, Manuela, "MicroRNA Isoforms Contribution to Melanoma Pathogenesis" (2021). Computational Medicine Center Faculty Papers. Paper 40.
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