The identification of deregulated microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in multiple myeloma (MM) has progressively added a further level of complexity to MM biology. In addition, the cross-regulation between lncRNAs and miRNAs has begun to emerge, and theoretical and experimental studies have demonstrated the competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) activity of lncRNAs as natural miRNA decoys in pathophysiological conditions, including cancer. Currently, information concerning lncRNA and miRNA interplay in MM is virtually absent.
Here, researchers from the University of Milan investigated in silico the lncRNA and miRNA relationship in a representative datasets encompassing 95 MM and 30 plasma cell leukemia patients at diagnosis and in four normal controls, whose expression profiles were generated by a custom annotation pipeline to detect specific lncRNAs. They applied target prediction analysis based on miRanda and RNA22 algorithms to 235 lncRNAs and 459 miRNAs selected with a potential pivotal role in the pathology of MM. Among pairs that showed a significant correlation between lncRNA and miRNA expression levels, the researchers identified 11 lncRNA-miRNA relationships suggestive of a novel ceRNA network with relevance in MM.
Flow chart used to select relevant lncRNAs and miRNAs for the following analyses