miR-590 - A Novel Candidate microRNA in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
According to Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer statistics review, it is estimated that 13,780 men and women will be diagnosed with and 10,200 will die of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 2012 from this disease. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) poses difficult challenges both to cancer researchers and cancer therapists. It is not a single disease but a group of highly variable subtypes that tend to have different presenting features and different responses to treatment.
Recent evidence suggests that AML originates in early blood-forming cells termed “leukemia stem cells.” Thus, identification and targeting of cancer stem cells has become a high priority for research. Our proposal seeks to address this problem by focusing on microRNAs (miRNAs). MicroRNAs are emerging as important factors in cancer pathophysiology, including the leukemias. It is our position that a comprehensive understanding of the role of microRNA in leukemia is needed to fully exploit the therapeutic potential of these small intriguing molecules. In this proposal, I will investigate a microRNA that we recently discovered to be highly elevated in the bone marrow cells of AML patients. We propose to concentrate on this single miRNA, called miR-590, because of its apparent dominant position at the top of the miRNA hierarchy in AML cells. Investigations include use of “humanized mouse models”, which allows recapitulation of human leukemia in mice and facilitates the understanding of miR-590’s role in promoting AML.
Successful completion of the proposed experiments will provide critical new insights into the impact of this microRNA on both the pathogenesis and targeted treatment of AML. Ultimately, it may be possible to target leukemia stem cells using miRNA-based therapeutics that build on data generated by the proposed research. We are confident that by fully characterizing the role of miR-590 in normal and leukemic blood cells, it will be possible to accelerate the development of improved therapy for this devastating cancer.
Watch an interview with Dr. Sathyanarayana and WMTW Channel 8's Steve Minich: