• Open Access

Re-expression of microRNA-150 induces EBV-positive Burkitt lymphoma differentiation by modulating c-Myb in vitro


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E-mail: tommyren1000@yahoo.com.cn


Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is a highly aggressive B-cell lymphoma that includes two forms of BL differing in Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infection status, EBV-positive and EBV-negative. Although many efforts, such as high-intensity, short-duration combination chemotherapy, have been devoted to improving therapy for this rapidly proliferating neoplasm, there are still significant treatment-associated toxicities. Therefore, there remains a need for novel effective therapeutic strategies. MicroRNAs play a role in “fine tuning” the physiological and pathological differentiation process, by which cells can rapidly regulate dynamic events such as cell-lineage decisions and morphogenesis. This unique miRNA feature shifts the traditional one drug target paradigm to a novel one drug multiple targets paradigm. Here, we found that BL cell lines showed an extremely low expression of microRNA-150 (miR-150), and then restored miR-150 expression at physiologic levels in BL cell lines Daudi, Raji, BJAB, and Ramos. The results showed that re-expression of miR-150 reduced proliferation of Daudi and Raji cells. Furthermore, Daudi and Raji, both of which are of EBV-positive germinal center B-cell origin, transduced with miR-150 can be rescued to differentiate toward B-cell terminal stage. However, no significant changes were observed in BJAB or Ramos cells, which are of EBV-negative germinal center B-cell origin. Of note, re-expression of miR-150 also resulted in decreasing c-Myb protein levels. Additionally, c-Myb knockdown in Daudi and Raji cell lines recapitulated the partial characteristics similar to that caused by re-expression of miR-150. Taken together, our findings show that miR-150 can induce EBV-positive BL differentiation by targeting c-Myb.