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!
A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich
New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine