The aim of the study is to evaluate the associations between micro RNAs (miRNAs) and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Forty-three children with ALL and 14 age-matched controls were included in the study. Microarray expression profiling consisting of 1136 miRNAs was performed in peripheral blood and bone marrow samples of patients. Diagnosis, differential diagnosis, outcome and prognosis associated with aberrant microRNA expressions were prospectively evaluated. Significant miRNAs on admission were confirmed and re-evaluated after 6 months following treatment period by real time RT-PCR. The effect of miRNAs on overall survival (OS) and event free survival were presented. The most significantly upregulated miRNAs were miR-548i (12.5 fold), miR-708 (10 fold), miR-181b (6.25 fold) and most downregulated miRNAs were miR-145 (–2.52 fold) and miR-640 (–2.3 fold) compared to control group in microarray profiling. miRNAs according to immunophenotype revealed 22 upregulated and 13 downregulated in T-ALL. In the B-lineage ALL group, 7 miRNAs were upregulated and 2 miRNAs were downregulated. Expression of miR-146a, miR-155, miR-181a and miR-195 significantly changed after 6 months of treatment period. miR-145 was associated with OS. t(12; 21) and t(9; 22) were significantly associated with certain miRNAs. In conclusion miRNA expression profile could be used as biomarker in the diagnosis, differential diagnosis, monitoring the disease and prognosis of ALL.
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