Expression of microRNAs in basal cell carcinoma


  • Funding sources

  • Conflicts of interest
    None declared.

Michael Sand.


Background  Perturbations in the expression profiles of microRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported for a variety of different cancers. Differentially expressed miRNAs have not been systematically evaluated in basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin.

Objectives  To initiate a microarray-based miRNA profiling study to identify specific miRNA candidates that are differentially expressed in BCC.

Methods  Patients with BCC (n 7) were included in this study. Punch biopsies were harvested from the tumour centre (lesional, n 7) and from adjacent nonlesional skin (intraindividual control, n 7). Microarray-based miRNA expression profiles were obtained on an Agilent platform using miRBase 16 screening for 1205 Homo sapiens (hsa)-miRNA candidates. To validate the microarray data, the expression of seven dysregulated miRNAs was measured by TaqMan quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.

Results  We identified 16 significantly upregulated (hsa-miR-17, hsa-miR-18a, hsa-miR-18b, hsa-miR-19b, hsa-miR-19b-1*, hsa-miR-93, hsa-miR-106b, hsa-miR-125a-5p, hsa-miR-130a, hsa-miR-181c, hsa-miR-181c*, hsa-miR-181d, hsa-miR-182, hsa-miR-455-3p, hsa-miR-455-5p and hsa-miR-542-5p) and 10 significantly downregulated (hsa-miR-29c, hsa-miR-29c*, hsa-miR-139-5p, hsa-miR-140-3p, hsa-miR-145, hsa-miR-378, hsa-miR-572, hsa-miR-638, hsa-miR-2861 and hsa-miR-3196) miRNAs in BCC compared with nonlesional skin. Data mining revealed connections to many tumour-promoting pathways, such as the Hedgehog and the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase signalling cascades.

Conclusions  This study identified several miRNA candidates that may play a role in the molecular pathogenesis of BCC.