MicroRNA profile analysis: implications on dendritic cell biology, pancreatic cell differentiation, hematological stem- or progenitorcell disorders and non-small cell lungcarcinoma.

Project Details


Micro RNAs (miRNAs) represent a class of small, 18-25 nucleotides (nt) long, endogenous, noncoding RNA molecules that function in post-transcriptional regulation of specific target mRNAs. Briefly, primary miRNA transcripts (pri-miRNAs) are sequentially processed by 2 RNAse I11 enzymes, Drosha and Dicer, leading to the formation of mature miRNAs. These single-stranded RNAs are then incorporated in a RNA-interference effector complex (RISC), which targets specific mRNA (using the miRNA as a complementary template). If base pairing is imperfect, translational repression ensues, while perfect base pairing leads to mRNA degradation.
The functions of miRNAs that have been elucidated, indicate that these miRNAs influence a wide range of biological activities and cellular processes. miRNAs have been implicated in developmental patterning and timing, maintenance of pluripotency, hematopoietic cell lineage differentiation, apoptosis, regulation of insulin secretion, adipocyte differentiation, proliferation of differentiated cell types, genomic rearrangements and carcinogenesis. Furthermore, the expression analysis of 217 mammalian miRNAs leads to a sensitive taxonomy of human cancers and classifies poorly differentiated tumours almost flawlesly. Several studies have shown that miRNAs can be overexpressed using eukaryotic expressionvectors or inhibited with antisense oligonucleotides, even in vivo. Finally, to underscore the accumulating scientific interest in miRNAs, in 2001 only 4 articles were published, while in 2005 this increased to a staggering number of 360.


1. miRNA profiling in non-small lung cancer and correlation with the mutation status of the EGFR gene and responsiveness to tyrosine kinase inhibition (J. De Greve)

2. miRNAs and dendritic cells (K. Thielemans)

3. Role of miRNA in the regulation of cell differentiation in the pancreas (L. Bouwens)

4. Potential of miRNA profiling for the diagnosis and classification of clonal haematopoietic stem or progenitor cell disorders (M. De Waele)
Effective start/end date1/01/0731/12/10


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Flemish discipline codes

  • Basic sciences