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The functional aftermath of microRNA (miRNA) dysregulation in ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas has not been demonstrated. miRNAs represent diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers as well as putative therapeutic targets; their investigation may shed light on the mechanisms that underpin pituitary adenoma development and progression. Drugs interacting with such pathways may help in achieving disease control also in the settings of ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas. We investigated the expression of 10 miRNAs among those that were found as most dysregulated in human pituitary adenoma tissues in the settings of a murine ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma cell line, AtT20/D16v-F2. The selected miRNAs to be submitted to further investigation in AtT20/D16v-F2 cells represent an expression panel including 5 up-regulated and 5 down-regulated miRNAs. Among these, we selected the most dysregulated mouse miRNA and searched for miRNA targets and their biological function. We found that AtT20/D16v-F2 cells have a specific miRNA expression profile and that miR-26a is the most dysregulated miRNA. The latter is overexpressed in human pituitary adenomas and can control viable cell number in the in vitro model without involving caspase 3/7-mediated apoptosis. We demonstrated that protein kinase Cδ (PRKCD) is a direct target of miR-26a and that miR26a inhibition delays the cell cycle in G1 phase. This effect involves down-regulation of cyclin E and cyclin A expression via PRKCD modulation. miR-26a and related pathways, such as PRKCD, play an important role in cell cycle control of ACTH pituitary cells, opening new therapeutic possibilities for the treatment of persistent/recurrent Cushing's disease.

Citation

Erica Gentilin, Federico Tagliati, Carlo Filieri, Daniela Molè, Mariella Minoia, Maria Rosaria Ambrosio, Ettore C Degli Uberti, Maria Chiara Zatelli. miR-26a plays an important role in cell cycle regulation in ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas by modulating protein kinase Cδ. Endocrinology. 2013 May;154(5):1690-700

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PMID: 23525216

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