Expression profile of microRNAs in c-Myc induced mouse mammary tumors
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c-Myc is a transcription factor overexpression of which induces mammary cancer in transgenic mice. To explore whether certain microRNAs (mirRNA) mediate c-Myc induced mammary carcinogenesis, we studied mirRNA expression profile in mammary tumors developed from MMTV-c-myc transgenic mice, and found 50 and 59 mirRNAs showing increased and decreased expression, respectively, compared with lactating mammary glands of wild type mice. Twenty-four of these mirRNAs could be grouped into eight clusters because they had the same chromosomal localizations and might be processed from the same primary RNA transcripts. The increased expression of mir-20a, mir-20b, and mir-9 as well as decreased expression of mir-222 were verified by RT-PCR, real-time RT-PCR, and cDNA sequencing. Moreover, we fortuitously identified a novel non-coding RNA, the level of which was decreased in proliferating mammary glands of MMTV-c-myc mice was further decreased to undetectable level in the mammary tumors. Sequencing of this novel RNA revealed that it was transcribed from a region of mouse chromosome 19 that harbored the metastasis associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript-1 (Malat-1), a non-protein-coding gene. These results suggest that certain mirRNAs and the chromosome 19 derived non-coding RNAs may mediate c-myc induced mammary carcinogenesis.