Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous, single-stranded, non-coding RNAs acting as negative regulators of gene expression involved in a number of physiological processes. MiRNAs’ expression is commonly dysregulated in many types of human tumor diseases and cancers, including thyroid cancers, and is often involved in tumor initiation and progression. miR-19a, a member of miR-17-92 cluster, has been demonstrated to promote cell growth in anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), the most advanced and aggressive thyroid cancer.
Purpose: In this work, we investigate the potential contribution of miR-19a in thyroid cancer cells poor prognosis and de-differentiation.
Methods: We directly modulated the expression of miR-19a in papillary (PTC) and anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cell lines through transfection of specific miR-19a mimic or inhibitor. Further, we performed gene expression analysis of specific genes to evaluate miR-19a association with cell cycle, differentiation, and poor prognosis.
Results: Our data indicate that miR-19a overexpression in PTC cells significantly promotes cell growth, decreases the expression of differentiation genes and activates poor prognosis genes. Its inhibition in ATC cells reduces cell proliferation and the expression of genes related to poor prognosis but does not affect differentiation.
Conclusion: Our findings reveal the existence of functional associations between miR-19a expression and thyroid cancer progression and malignancy suggesting miR-19a as a novel candidate therapeutic target for ATC.