These findings, which appear in the on-line early edition of journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may lead to a new, relatively non-invasive biomarker for smoking-related lung diseases.
Approximately 1.3 billion people smoke cigarettes worldwide, which contributes to five million preventable deaths per year. Smoking is a significant risk factor for lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and the world, with more than one million deaths worldwide annually.
Eighty-five to 90 percent of subjects with lung cancer in the United States are current or former smokers with 10 to 20 percent of heavy smokers developing this disease. Because of the lack of effective diagnostic biomarkers and the inability to identify which current and former smokers are at greatest risk, lung cancer is most often diagnosed at a late stage where current therapies are largely ineffective.
A previous study by the same researchers reported a gene expression biomarker capable of distinguishing cytologically normal bronchial airway epithelial cells from smokers with and without lung cancer, serving as an early diagnostic biomarker for lung cancer. The importance of this "field-of-injury" concept is that it allows for the detection of lung cancer in tissues that are more readily sampled than the diseased lung tissue itself. In this study, the researchers profiled the miRNAs in these readily accessible airway epithelial cells and identified those that are differentially expressed with smoking.
Studying current and non-smokers, the researchers examined whole-genome miRNA and mRNA expression in bronchial airway epithelial brushings obtained at bronchoscopy and found 28 miRNAs to be differentially expressed in the majority of smokers. In addition, the researchers showed that by modulating the expression of one such miRNA (mir-218), it was sufficient to alter the expression of a subset of the mRNAs that are both predicted targets of this miRNA and altered by smoking in vivo.
"These studies suggest that smoking-dependent changes in miRNA expression levels mediate some of the smoking induced gene expression changes in airway epithelium and that miRNAs therefore play a role in the host response to environmental exposures and may contribute to the pathogenesis of smoking-related lung cancer," said senior author Avrum Spira, MD, an associate professor of medicine and pathology at BUSM.
According to the researchers, it is hoped that miRNA profiles obtained from these cells may serve as relatively non-invasive biomarkers for smoking-related lung diseases.
"These microRNA changes may serve as more robust biomarkers in clinical samples given their role as regulators of multiple mRNAs and their relative resistance to degradation," said first author Frank Schembri, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at BUSM.
Gina DiGravio | EurekAlert!
Funding of Collaborative Research Center developing nanomaterials for cancer immunotherapy extended
28.06.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Zeolite catalysts pave the road to decentral chemical processes Confined space increases reactivity
28.06.2017 | Technische Universität München
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine